Review Roundup: GHOST, The Musical - All the Reviews!
Ghost The Musical makes its highly anticipated West End opening today, July 19, at the Piccadilly Theatre, after begining performances on June 24, 2011. Booking is open for performances through January 28, 2012.
Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy lead the cast of Ghost The Musical playing Sam and Molly in Matthew Warchus' stage musical version of the Academy Award® winning film. Accompanied by Sharon D Clarke as Oda Mae Brown and Andrew Langtree as Carl, Ghost The Musical has new music and lyrics by Grammy® award winning Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard as well as featuring the iconic song Unchained Melody. Oscar® winning Bruce Joel Rubin has adapted his original screen play for the stage. Set and costume designs are by Rob Howell, choreography is by Ashley Wallen with musical supervision and arrangements by Christopher Nightingale, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and projection design by Jon Driscoll. Matthew Wachus directs.
A timeless story about the power of love, Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer. Ghost, based on the Oscar® winning Paramount Pictures film, will feature new music and lyrics as well as the classic Unchained Melody.
For more information, visit www.ghostthemusical.com, and find out what the critics thought here!
Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard: Ghost: The Musical has a huge readymade audience. The film on which it's based is romantic, lyrical and tear-jerking - a shamelessly cheesy fantasy. And with superb special effects and engaging performances, Matthew Warchus's production certainly has plenty of dazzle.
David Benedict, Variety: Warchus' well-drilled staging is supremely slick. He and the design team achieve real flow between multiple locations and the how-did-they-do-that? factor of the ghost effects are the show's highs. But this is an evening of applauded effort rather than achievement.
The real question, though, is: Does Molly get her famous scene at the potter's wheel? Yes, but it's later in the action and, like much of the show, is robbed of the close-ups that would heighten its impact. But "Unchained Melody" is there, initially crooned sweetly by Fleeshman on a guitar. That transposition is the sort of imaginative change the show needs throughout. And when the sole pre-existing song is a tuner's high point, it prompts a question that may come back to haunt the creative team: Why turn it into a musical in the first place?
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph: Though the story is a touch corny, and often gloopily sentimental, there is something genuinely distinctive about Ghost...This may not be a great musical, but it is a highly entertaining one that looks set to keep audiences laughing, gasping and sniffing back tears for a long time to come.
Matt Wolf, The Arts Desk: The material is cheesy, often defiantly so, and it's here been polished to a high sheen by the director Matthew Warchus and a design team who pull out all the stops in order to snap to attention even the most ADD-afflicted in the house...The audience pre-sold on the material will doubtless enjoy the experience, even as sceptics are likely to be unmoved.
Michael Coveney, What's On Stage: Most impressively, Matthew Warchus' slick and efficient production, even though it loses dramatic momentum in the first half, finally pulls the elements of love story, thriller and supernatural transfiguration into one ship-shape organic whole. In all, it's a fairly fine new musical, and not just for those who love the movie.
Alun Palmer, The Mirror: Sharon D. Clarke gives a bit of zest to proceedings, just as Whoopi Goldberg did in the film. But she can't raise the dead of this production alone...Fleeshman has a fine voice and spectacular moving video screens and special effects help distract from proceedings. This Ghost seems destined not to haunt the West End for very long.
Quentin Letts, The Daily Mail: Worth going to?...I'd say yes - provided that a) you take some cotton wool, and b) you are not expecting anything too subtle or classical. If by the end you have not contracted tinnitus from the over-amplification, you might even hear a few sniffles of emotion as they sing the final song.
Michael Billington, The Guardian: Caissie Levy's Molly, although well sung, seems somewhat grumpy and Richard Fleeshman's colourless Sam apologetically sings, in proof of his unarticulated affection, "I make you scrambled eggs." The passion is upstaged by the projections...I felt the people were largely secondary to the optical pyrotechnics.
Paul Taylor, The Independent: You are left with very some hit-and-miss comedy and brilliant visuals and special effects. Sharon D Clarke is hilarious as the formerly fake and now reluctantly genuine psychic Oda Mae...I'm afraid that my belief in this show as a bona fide piece of musical theatre had given up the ghost some time before Molly has to give up hers.
Stay tuned for more reviews!