Extra Review: Ghost the Musical, King’s Theatre

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TWENTY years on from the 90s chick flick, and it’s clear that Ghost still haunts many a fan.

The film starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore has spawned a hit musical — and judging from crowd numbers at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow theatregoers remember it all too well.

The production stays true to the original — occasionally word for word (and it’s a brave reviewer who can admit to noticing that) — but there are songs and dance routines there to attract the musical-loving crowd.

Initial scenes feel a little clunky and heavy-handed — driving home the message that our soon-to-be-parted lovers are very much in love — but when the inevitable death scene comes (making the assumption that this isn’t a spoiler in a show called Ghost), things pick up considerably.

Most notable about Ghost the Musical is its production value. The sets are extremely impressive; varied, engaging and at times utterly magical.

This is a show which has been staged carefully and with great pleasure, and there are a number of clever tricks designed to remind you that your hapless hero Sam (Stewart Clarke) is, sadly, departed.

There are laughs galore from the minute Wendy Mae Brown appears as colourful psychic Oda Mae, and she steals the show with one of the more memorable songs as she contemplates living the high life clad in pink sequins and furs.

Then, there are the tearjerker moments — and plenty of them, many anchored to the one tune you’ll know (forever tied to that pottery scene in the original film); Unchained Melody.

Widowed Molly (Rebecca Trehearn) singing handwritten letters to Sam is the one of many lump-in-throat moments — the couple are more convincing as living and departed than they were as new housemates, and each deliver heartfelt performances to few dry eyes in the house.

For fans of the original — or just bittersweet love stories — Ghost the Musical is a technical delight, carefully designed to make you ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ one minute, and tug on your heartstrings the next.

Ghost runs at the King’s until October 19, and tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com - just remember those tissues.