News Column

Spirited cast shine in ambitious production ; REVIEW [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

June 7, 2013

YellowBrix

Ghost The Musical WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND SEEING is believing in this stage version of the muchloved film that starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.

In perhaps the most technically ambitious production to ever grace a Midlands stage, the dazzling show fuses video, special effects, aerial artistry and some old fashioned magic that Paul Daniels would be proud of.

A ghost walks through a door, a spirit ascends from an operating table and the use of revolving video walls really gave a fight scene on a New York subway train the wow factor.

The scene changes - 90 per cent of them automated - were incredibly slick, although there were some ghosts in the machines on opening night.

A snap, crackle and bang was followed by an audible off-stage commotion and the curtain closing while "slight technical difficulties" took five minutes to be resolved.

The songs were supplied by Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart and six-time Grammy award-winning Glen Ballard, best known for co- writing and producing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill album.

But as good as the new songs were, they were overshadowed by use of the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody, which topped the UK charts in 1990 on the back of the film's success.

Solihull-raised Stewart Clarke's powerful portrayal of murdered banker Sam was incredible considering the 22-year-old has not long graduated from the University of Warwick. I predict a bright future.

The more experienced Rebecca Trehearn, pictured with Sam, also impressed as Sam's girlfriend Molly, not least with her skills at the potter's wheel as she recreated the famous scene from the film.

In a spooky coincidence, psychic Oda Mae Brown was played by the scene-stealing Wendy Mae Brown, who was a match for Oscar-winning Whoopi and, boy, could she belt out a tune.

This spectre-cular show fully deserved its standing ovation and runs until June 15.

Verdict: ADRIAN CAFFE

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