Ghost The Musical
A re-imagining of the 1990 film, Ghost The Musical revolves around young lovers Sam and Molly who are tragically separated when Sam is murdered. With the help of a psychic con-artist Oda Mae, who in the end can actually communicate with the dead, Sam seeks to connect with Molly and protect her from grave danger.
Ghost The Musical opened on the West End in 2011 before embarking upon a UK tour. Now produced by Bill Kenwright, this UK tour is a reworked production, allegedly more “stripped back” than its previous incarnation.
Much of the criticism has focused on the production’s casting of Sarah Harding, of Girls Aloud fame, as Molly, who is left alone and heartbroken after Sam’s death. While Harding may not be so awful as some reviews and comments on social media would have you believe, her performance is still not what would be expected of a professional performer. Her acting is somewhat stilted and there is not much natural flow in her delivery of dialogue. Harding can sing but does not have the vocal range required for the role, something which is sadly exposed when she moves up the register. Though the beautifully written song With You was more vocally sound, it lacked emotion. Former Hollyoaks star Andy Moss fared better as Sam, whose background in TV undoubtedly helped make his acting more convincing than Harding’s. His voice is fine and he was able to pull off big numbers such as ‘Suspend My Disbelief/I Had a Life’.
Moss and Harding were noticeably upstaged by the musical’s supporting leads. Sam Ferriday was convincing as friend-turned-villain Carl, able to change the audience’s opinion of him as the show progressed. This was particularly the case in the number ‘Life Turns on a Dime’ which conveyed his attempt to seduce Molly. His vocals, accent and delivery cannot be faulted. The performer who helped to somewhat lift the show was Jacqui Dubois as Oda Mae, who possesses an impressive set of pipes and perfect comedic timing. Her song in Act Two, ‘I’m Outta Here’, was of no benefit to the plot but possibly the most impressive number of the evening.
The illusions provided by Richard Pinner were exciting but did not quite make the audience “believe”. For someone who has not seen the West End production, the previous UK tour, or, even the film, having no preconceptions or expectations, Ghost the Musical is still disappointing.
Image: Lloyd Dirks