New ‘Ghost’ UK tour entrances audiences with its visual wizardry and emotional depth

Rebecca Trehearne and Stewart Clarke in rehearsals for "Ghost."

Rebecca Trehearne and Stewart Clarke in rehearsals for “Ghost.”

Ghost: the Musical has returned to the stage with an all new production touring the UK. The show recently closed on the West End, and has embarked on a 14-stop tour with Rebecca Trehearne, Stewart Clarke and David Roberts playing the roles of Molly, Sam and Carl. The tour opened in Cardiff on April 10, after rehearsals began in March.

The musical is an adaptation of the hit 1990 film starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, and premiered on stage in Manchester in 2011, something which I was lucky enough to witness. Ghost tells the story of lovers Sam and Molly, who are torn apart when Sam is murdered.  Sam becomes trapped as a ghost, and tries to save and protect Molly from danger with the help of phony psychic, Oda Mae Brown.

After a successful premiere in Manchester, Ghost transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End, and ran until October 6 2012. Prior to this, a production had also opened on Broadway on April 23, and closed after playing 136 performances. Despite having a short run, Ghost touched audiences’ hearts and quickly became a fan favorite.

What makes Ghost such a spectacular, fresh theatre experience is its use of modern technology and tricks. The set consists of large screens and automated sets which flow on and off stage. The only word to describe the special effects of Sam’s death, the subway, and ghosts walking through doors with special gauzes is “wizardry,” and it is certainly a sight to behold! Projected images of New York, numbers and a train line the walls in place of a traditional set. Due to much of the show relying on these technological tricks, performances have often been put on hold or even paused, but even this has not put audiences off from the emotional core of the story.

The score of Ghost is downright spine tingling, and requires some vocal mastery from the leads. Caissie Levy (who originated the role of Molly) famously belted and riffed her way through “Rain/Hold On”,  which was certainly an impressive feat. The music is definitely more modern than some of the more classical productions currently on stage, however, it fits the storyline, and features heart breaking numbers such as “With You” and “Unchained Melody.”

What I found particularly touching about Ghost is how it makes you think. The finale of the show is beautifully moving as Sam and Molly are reunited one last time before Sam ‘s ghost can move on to the next life. It pushes you to think about those you love, and how you should show your appreciation for them, because you never know what might happen next.

Ghost: the Musical is also set to tour the US in 2013, and international productions in Korea, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Japan, China and Brazil are also being planned.

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