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19th April 2019

Review: Ghost the Musical

Jess Johnstone reviews Ghost at the Palace Theatre


Photo: @Pamela Raith Photography
Photo: @Pamela Raith Photography

A rom-com like no other, Ghost threw audiences headfirst into a story of love, loss and betrayal. Directed by Bob Tomson, the 2019 tour  boasts new music and original staging, along with a stellar new cast ready to pull on the heartstrings of unassuming audience members. Based on the 1990 hit film of the same name the stage show certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Following lovers Sam (Niall Sheehy) and Molly (Rebekah Lowings) as they start their lives together in an up and coming Brooklyn apartment. The first few scenes whizzed by and could perhaps have benefited from a slightly slower pacing so we as an audience could grow more attached to the couple before the fateful scene in which Sam is shot and murdered.

The lighting change and use of misdirection as our ‘alive’ Sam seamlessly reappeared as a ghost whilst an inconsolable Molly wept over his body was superb. As an audience member you don’t know where to look and our confusion as to exactly how they did it matched Sam’s confusion over what has happened to him. Sheehy and Lowings made a very convincing couple and their on stage chemistry served well in making the audience  feel for them. This was especially true in the recreation of that iconic pottery scene made famous by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

Returning to the stage in the unforgettably iconic role of Ode Mae Brown was Jacqui Dubois, who more than filled the pretty monumental shoes left by Whoopi Goldberg’s original film portrayal! The comic timing of Dubois was impeccable and oh my, what an incredible voice!

Photo: @Pamela Raith Photography
Photo: @Pamela Raith Photography

Dubois was matched only by Lowings in terms of her characterisation. Lowings heart-breaking rendition of ‘With You’ reduced me to tears, her skill as a performer was outstanding and I genuinely felt for her character. Equally Sergio Pasquariello’s turn as corrupt banker Carl so nuanced, sometimes a rarity in musical theatre. Often the typical ‘villain’ in a show such as this can be turned into something of a stock character and Pascquariello did well to avoid this. Sheehy, however, slightly overacted and at times his reactions felt contrived and forced in comparison to his co-stars.

The ensemble worked incredibly well together. The sharp, fast paced choreography from Alistair David served to create the busy nature of NYC, and the set and lighting design (Mark Bailey and Nich Richings) worked wonders to invite the audience into the world of Molly and Sam.

Ghost brought an evening of laughs and tears, I was unprepared to have my heartstrings pulled so much!

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