Theatre Review: Ghost The Musical

Ghost The Musical brings movie magic to the stage.

The famous potter’s wheel scene falls a bit flat, like the clay – our squinting eyes are no substitute for motion picture cameras zooming close-ups of the lovers’ mucky, intermingling fingers.

But where this musical version of the 1990 blockbusting movie departs from the original – most obviously in big, belted out new tunes complementing the Unchained Melody refrain – it stands up enjoyably on its own.

That said, great special effects and projected moving images often make the experience feel like watching a film.

Young Richard Fleeshman – first seen on TV as a kid in Corrie – plays the late Patrick Swayze’s character, Sam, while Caissie Levy impresses as his bereaved fianc� Molly (Demi Moore). Both are gorgeous and, after a slow start, sing like angels.

Bruce Joel Rubin adapted his original Oscar-winning screenplay, Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and Grammy-winning Glen Ballard chip in new music, esteemed Matthew Warchus directs, while illusionist Paul Kieve has worked alongside Derren Brown and even Harry Potter.

Gasp in amazement as the buff Fleeshman walks through a closed door, and pay special attention whenever anyone gets killed... in a flash you’ll see the ghost literally jump out of the corpse.

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If it drags in places, there’s still much to admire as well as the two leads, like the excellently villainous Willie Lopez, scary subway ghost, and fabulously camp, glitzy song and dance routines involving Oda Mae played by Sharon D Clarke (Whoopi Goldberg in the film).

The movie grossed over $500m and cost $20m. I wouldn’t be surprised if this production pockets similar multiples.

* Showing at the Piccadilly Theatre in Denman Street, W1, until January 28, 2012.