Ghost

 

Reviewed by Nikki Cotter

Opening night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Although it seems like five minutes ago it’s actually an incredible 8 years since Ghost the Musical first premiered in Manchester before opening in London’s West End ahead of a successful Broadway transfer and judging by audience responses at the Palace Theatre the love for this classic story shows no sign of waning.

Based on Bruce Joel Rubin’s iconic 1990 film, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost tells the tragic love story of Brooklyn residents Sam (Niall Sheehy) and Molly (Rebekah Lowings) whose lives are cruelly torn apart when Sam is heartbreakingly murdered in a street robbery gone wrong. As Sam watches the scene of his death from a distance, stuck between two worlds he realises what at first seemed like a tragic accident is anything but and his beloved Molly is now in danger too. In order to find his own peace he must find a way to connect with and ultimately protect his love from beyond the grave, cue Oda Mae Brown an outrageous and questionable psychic who has made a living off receiving messages from the dead and passing them onto their living relatives for a fee of course; Problem is she’s never actually connected to anyone from the afterlife until now.

039_Ghost 2019_Pamela Raith Photography

Rebekah Lowings is hugely endearing as Molly, tentatively attempting to navigate life after the loss of her soulmate she skilfully takes us along for the turbulent ride. Her voice is beautiful; she delivers each solo with fabulous control. The chemistry between Lowings and Niall Sheehy feels genuinely convincingly further adding to the emotion and impact of this production. Sheehy is lively and charismatic as Sam, his commitment to protecting Molly from danger genuinely touching.

Jacqui Dubois is brass, bold and boisterous as Oda Mae Brown, her razor sharp comedic timing is a joy to watch and her hilarious interactions with Sheehy are a real highlight. The scene where we first meet her and her two abetting sisters Louise (Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy) and Clara (Sadie-Jean Shirley) is hilarious with their exaggerated gestures and punchy harmonies.

Special mention must also go to Sergio Pasquariello and Jules Brown who both impress as evil duo Carl and Willie.

063_Ghost 2019_Pamela Raith Photography

Impressive set and costume design from Mark Bailey adds to the slickness and authenticity of this production while Dan Samson’s sound design although vibrant occasionally overpowers the vocals of the performers. Nick Richings lighting design really makes this piece stand out visually, particularly impressive is the way Sam is lit once he passes from the real world.

The production translates exceptionally well from screen to stage with the addition of some great illusions from Richard Pinner delivered convincingly by an excellent cast.

Ghost will please fans of the original film and is also strong enough as a standalone production for those coming to the show with fresh eyes. It’s heavy on both emotion and humour while the dramatic and engaging story unfolds. There’s love, hope, comedy, deception and drama all neatly packed into this impressive production and while Dave Stewart’s  songs may not be the most memorable they are enjoyable and beautifully delivered.

This reworked incarnation directed by Bob Tomson feels faithful and impressive. Gone is the celebrity casting allowing this production the delivery it deserves ensuring Ghost once again cements itself as a modern theatre classic. Hugely entertaining theatre which engages on every level and will leave you with more than a little tear in your eye.

Ghost the Musical is at the Palace Theatre until Saturday 20th April tickets available here.

New Dirty Dancing Tour!

DD2

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage will be returning to theatres in 2018!

The all new tour will open at Brighton’s Theatre Royal on Thursday 20 September 2018 before touring to Dartford, York, Stoke, Hastings, Southend, Birmingham, Preston, London (New Wimbledon Theatre) Plymouth and Oxford – with further dates to be announced.

Full of heartache, passion, sensational dance routines and all the classics including ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the ever popular  ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’ this fan favourite returns due to popular demand having played to sold out audiences in 2016/17 taking an incredible £13 million in ticket sales!

Full casting is yet to be announced but you can guarantee this smash hit musical based on the iconic 1987 movie starring the incredible Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey will guarantee an unforgettable night out.

* Pictures used feature previous cast*

2018 TOUR DATES

Thu 20 – Sat 29 September

Brighton Theatre Royal

www.atgtickets.com/brighton

0844 871 7650

On Sale Tuesday 19 December 2pm

 

Mon 1 – Sat 6 October

Dartford Orchard Theatre

www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

01322 220 000

On Sale Friday 15 December 9am

 

Mon 8 – Sat 13 October

York Grand Opera House

www.atgtickets.com/york

0844 871 3024

On Sale Tuesday 19 December 2pm

 

Mon 15 – Sat 20 October

Stoke Regent Theatre

www.atgtickets.com/regent-theatre

0844 871 7649

On Sale Tuesday 19 December 2pm

 

Mon 22 – Sat 27 October

Hastings White Rock Theatre

www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk

01424 462 288

On Sale Friday 15 December 9am

 

Mon 29 October – Sat 3 November

Southend Cliffs Pavillion

www.southendtheatres.co.uk

01702 351 135

On Sale Friday 15 December 9am

 

Mon 5 – Sat 10 November

Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre

www.atgtickets.com/birmingham

0844 871 7647

On Sale Tuesday 19 December 2pm

 

Mon 12 – Sat 17 November

Preston Guild Hall

www.prestonguildhall.co.uk

01772 804 444

On Sale Friday 15 December 9am

 

Mon 19 – Sat 24 November

London New Wimbledon Theatre

www.atgtickets.com/new-wimbledon-theatre

0844 871 7646

On Sale Tuesday 19 December 2pm

 

Mon 26 November – Sat 1 December

Plymouth Pavilions

www.plymouthpavilions.co.uk

0845 146 1460

On Sale Friday 15 December 9am

 

Mon 3 – Sat 8 December

Oxford New Theatre

www.atgtickets.com/oxford

0844 871 3020

On Sale Tuesday 19 December 2pm

 

FURTHER DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED

Dirty Dancing

DD2

Based on the iconic 1987 movie starring the incredible Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this revamped version using impressive new sets and songs from the movie not originally in the stage musical has been wowing audiences across the UK all year, reaching its final stop of the tour in Liverpool last night.

Director Federico Bellone, choreographer Gillian Bruce and designer Roberto Cometti, have sexed up the original stage musical (yes it’s EVEN sexier than before) as the classic story of Baby and Johnny is played out by the most talented of casts.

DD1

Getting us all hot under the collar as Jonny Castle is the immensely talented and deliciously dangerous Lewis Griffiths, he literally made Liverpool scream as he stepped into Swayze’s Cuban heels and gave Baby (Katie Eccles) the summer of her life. The chemistry between the two is electrifying, you find yourself rooting for them right from the off, the buzz in the audience as we build up to ‘that’ lift is almost enough to raise the roof of the Empire. Eccles is superb as Baby as we see her find her inner strength and go after her heart’s desire. Indeed the energy from the entire cast is incredible; Carlie Milner makes for the most perfect Penny, her skill and talent quite breath-taking as she dances up a storm on stage.

DD4

Roberto Cometti’s set is streets ahead of those we’ve seen in previous incarnations of this production, inventive and impressive it allows for real creativity in the staging. Add to this Gillian Bruce’s incredible choreography, sizzling, sexy and so so slick there’s no wonder audiences keep coming back for more.

Chock full of heartache, passion, sensational dance routines and all the classic hits fans know and love including Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, She’s Like The Wind and the legendary (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, this production is everything fans of the film could wish for. The hardworking cast deliver in spade loads, whipping the audience into just the right level of excitement before taking it up a notch again, until we literally reach fever pitch at the finale, uplifting, exciting and hugely entertaining surpassing all previous productions, Dirty Dancing will undoubtedly give you the time of your life!

DD

With only five more days to catch this impressive production, head to www.dirtydancingontour.com/tickets-tour for tickets.

Liverpool Empire Mon 18th – Saturday 23rd September 2017