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Theatre Review: Ghost the Musical - King's Theatre, Glasgow ✭✭✭✭




Based on the beloved 1990 film of the same name featuring original music and lyrics plus a book adapted by the original screenplay author Bruce Joel Rubin, Ghost the Musical is raw, beautiful and completely heart-breaking.  

With a film as popular as Ghost, it's vital to remain true to the original piece and the creators have done a superb job bringing together the familiarity of the plot with strong original songs and a striking set. When the show opens with a blissfully happy Molly (Rebecca Trehearn) and Sam (Stewart Clarke) discovering their new home it's difficult not to get a knot of dread in your stomach. Anyone who's seen the film knows what's coming, it's like an accident you can't tear your eyes away from.

The opening scenes beautifully encapsulate the young lovers starting out in life and the wonderful acoustic rendition of Unchained Melody played with a simple guitar and lyrics to fit Molly is not only a fitting nod to its place in the original film but also an incredibly poignant symbol of a couple in love. Unsurprisingly, a frisson of audible excitement rippled through the audience as Clarke removed his shirt to reveal a very well-sculpted body but given the audience demographic for such a show it goes with the territory.

*Warning this next section does contain spoilers if you havent seen the film*

It begins as a joyful show but soon transforms into a raw, emotional piece. Sam's reaction to discovering he is dead is gut-wrenching and performed exquisitely by Clarke. Molly's tremendous grief is sensitively handled by Trehearn and as the show progresses it's clear that they must be emotionally drained at the end of every show. The aftermath of Sams murder is challenging and affecting. This is not fluffy afterlife stuff, it is human emotion at its rawest and it makes no apology for it. The Act One closer Suspend my Disbelief / I Had a Life leaves the audience shell-shocked at the sheer unfairness of it all and headed straight for the bar for interval drinks to steel the nerves.

Stewart Clarke creates a loveable Sam Wheat and the crushing despair he portrays when Sam realises the enormity of it all is almost unbearable to watch. Rebecca Trehearn's Molly is so dignified in her grief and her chemistry with Clarke creates a genuine, credible couple.

As Oda Mae Brown, Wendy Mae Brown brings much needed light relief to what would otherwise be an emotionally overwhelming production. She brings her own unique interpretation to Whoopi Goldberg's iconic role and is positively scene-stealing when she's on stage.

The energy from the whole ensemble lifts the mood with fantastic set pieces and colourful dance routines while the incredible illusions and sleight of hand bring another world to life on stage forcing the audience to suspend their disbelief.

As the show reaches its crescendo as Sam and Molly dance there's barely a dry eye left in the house. Carl's demise is almost perfunctory in the wake of such soaring emotion. The powerful finale is understandably punctuated by heavy, unashamed sobs from the emotionally wrecked audience and Sam finally kissing Molly one last time prompted spontaneous applause to ripple through the theatre. This magical production will leave you emotionally bruised but strangely uplifted. Seeing is believing and its clear that Glasgow believes. 

Catch it at the King's Theatre until 19th October - don't forget tissues, you have been warned!

For tickets and information visit www.atgtickets.com/Glasgow

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