theatre: Ghost on Tour

Typically, in my last week at home before moving to university was the time that the UK tour of Ghost visited Milton Keynes which was the only place I could logically see it! In true form, only having a few days to see it didn’t stop me for managing to see it twice before the move. I’ve been hearing mixed things about the tour so was hoping to see it twice to make a fair judgement on it – it also made a good excuse to get my mum to see it as it was half an hour from our doorstep!

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For those who don’t know – Ghost is the musical adaptation of the 1990 film of the same name, and is currently on a UK tour having closed in the West End last year, it currently stars Rebecca Trehearn as Molly, Stewart Clarke as Sam Wheat, David Roberts as Carl Bruner and Wendy Mae Brown as Oda Mae Brown (what are the chances of that name eh!).

I went on September 17th which was their first night in town and considering the cast would’ve travelled from the previous location, set up and done a run through in the day before then doing the show itself, I was seriously impressed! Having heard a lot of mixed opinions about the tour, especially about the tweaks they’ve made, I was a tiny bit apprehensive but there was no need for me to be because I thought the whole production was incredible. I may not understand some of the changes made from the West End production, for example switching the segment of “I Had a Life” for a reprise of “Unchained Melody”? But really you have to just think that someone somewhere thought it would work better and you have to trust their judgement – to me it was a little unsettling only because I knew it should’ve been a different song but thankfully it still worked.

One of the main reasons for me desperately wanting to see the tour production was because of Rebecca Trehearn playing the lead role of Molly Jensen. Previous to the tour she understudied the role in the West End production and she was actually the only Molly I saw in London, and as soon as it was announced she’d be the tour lead I knew I had to see it no matter what. Quite obviously she didn’t disappoint one bit, she is so well-suited to this role and her voice is in another league completely. Stewart Clarke really pleasantly surprised me in the role of Sam, the only other time I’ve seen him in a show was in Loserville so to see him in a drastically different show was brilliant. The chemistry between him and Rebecca was superb, they made a very cute Sam and Molly and sounded beautiful singing together.

I had some concern about the effects on the tour I have to admit, they were so renowned in fixed productions that I thought “What if they’re just not the same on tour?”, and again, no need to worry. The audience were still absolutely amazed by them (as was I), and in the interval my mum turned to me and said “Alright then come on. How do they do it?!”, the same question was being discussed by many around us.

The whole cast gave a stellar performance, I always loved the choreography of the dance numbers in this show (especially “More”) and they didn’t disappoint at all. Even more amazing that they did some of the movements without the travelators that were used in the West End (I have to say I missed those though!). Special mention has to go to Wendy Mae Brown for a hilarious Oda Mae Brown, I never thought I’d laugh as much at an Oda as I did with Sharon D. Clarke but Wendy had both my mum and I in fits of giggles.

For my second viewing of Ghost it was the day after their press night, which meant they’d essentially done 5 performances in 3 days (when you’re including the run-through) and were still as fresh and electric as before, I don’t know how they manage it!

I have to say, my favourite songs of this show will always be the opening number, “Here Right Now“, “With You“, “Suspend My Disbelief/I Had a Life” and “Nothing Stops Another Day“, they always without a doubt give me shivers (and often tears), they’re sung with such power and emotion. I don’t understand how any girl playing Molly on a regular basis can be emotionally stable with the way Molly has to be played; it’s a true testament to their acting skill to put so much truth into the emotion and make it believable.

Therefore I’m very, very happy to have seen Ghost a couple more times and couldn’t be more pleased with how they’ve done the tour. I’m also so pleased with the success they’re having, still selling out shows, wow’ing audiences and reducing people to tears (including the middle aged man sat next to us in one show, trying so hard to stifle tears during the finale), so well done to all and enjoy the rest of the tour!

Get tickets for Ghost here!

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