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Interview Special: Ghost the Musical - Stewart Clarke



In Part Two of our Ghost the Musical inteview special, Backstage Pass were delighted to catch up with star Stewart Clarke. Stewart plays the iconic role of Sam Wheat and we caught up with him and Rebecca Trehearn [Molly Jensen] as the tour headed to Southhamptons Mayflower theatre.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Stewart, we know youre very busy. 
Ghost has been on the road for 6 months now, hows the tour going? 
Going great thanks, we're over halfway through now so it won't be long before the end is in sight!

How would you describe Ghost to the uninitiated?
It's an epic love story set across planes of existence! It features sweeping romance, hilarious comedy and dramatic set pieces. Really is quite a complete theatrical experience!

The film is very iconic, why do you think the story has such lasting appeal?
I think everyone can identify with losing a loved one, and indeed we are all guaranteed to sadly experience it at one point in our lives. The film (and show) give such a touching demonstration of both the afterlife and the enduring power of love, that I think it's impossible for people not to get swept up in it.

Without giving too much away, for a large part of the show you are effectively invisible to the rest of the cast, how challenging is that as a performer?
Ha spoiler alert! [laughs] Yes, as the title suggests I am dead for most of the show. It was very strange in rehearsals. As an actor you are used to reacting with people and playing off of them. Took some adjusting as was quite isolating! Things get easier once Oda Mae comes into the picture, and the separtion makes the final cathartic scene with Molly all the more satisfying.

Sam is a demanding role as you're on stage almost constantly, how do you keep your energy levels up especially on two show days?
Lots of coffee! Seriously though it can be tough. You've just got to get the sleep when you can and try and eat right. Can be difficult on the road and in unfamiliar digs!

Sam and Mollys story is heart-wrenching and the show is very emotional, is it difficult to go on that journey 8 times a week?
Certainly there are days where you wake up and think Am I really going to put myself through all that again?. The thing is, as soon as the lights come up, you're in that world and you don't even think about it.

Is it a hard show to leave behind you at the stage door?
Not particularly. You are filled with adrenaline for ages though - can be tough getting to sleep!

The illusions in Ghost are superb from self-folding paper to you walking through a door, are there any that still stand out for you even though you know how theyre done?
They're all so great becuase in essence they are so simple! My favourite is the door though, just because I found it so brilliant when I saw the show a couple of years ago!

Whats your favourite part of the show?
Probably that beautiful final scene. Just so moving and you can feel the audience there with you.

Being on tour and visiting new towns every few weeks, what's the best way you and the cast have found to get to know a new place?
It varies from place to place! Most recently Glasgow had a subway which was brilliant for just getting around. It's amazing how quickly your time goes in a venue though. Suddenly you're leaving and you're like; "there's so much I didn't see!".

Acting is very much in your family, when did you catch the acting bug and what led you to musical theatre in particular?
Ah it was during 6th form college. I was 16 and had moved schools so was just getting involved in everything. The 'Scatter Gun-Friend-Making Approach'! They needed boys for the school musical and I ended up getting the lead. Loved it and haven't really looked back!

Its still early in your career but youve already played some fantastic roles (Eddie in Loserville, Sam in Ghost and numerous roles whilst studying) are there any you would like to revisit or any roles youve seen recently that really caught your imagination?
I fell in love with a show called 'Parade' by Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry which I did with a youth group in 2010. Would love to revisit that show someday. I'm also a sucker for Sondheim - Sweeney Todd is one of my all time favourites! Seems there is a new production of that springing up everywhere at the moment!

If you weren't in musical theatre, what would you see yourself doing instead?
Possibly writing or some kind of fitness instruction.

Thanks for your time and good luck with the rest of the tour!

Read our interview with Rebecca Trehearn who plays Molly Jensen here

To find out more about Stewart visit www.stewartclarke.co.uk

For tickets and information about Ghost the Musical visit www.ghostthemusical.com

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