A new show is opening tonight in Manchester and you can sense the excitement. In fact, if you walk down Quay Street, you cannot help but notice how 'shiny and new' the Opera House looks. Britain's Got Talent benefitted from the makeover but you will have also noticed the images outside and all over the city for the highly anticipated musical version of the hit film Ghost.

For every person who groans "another musical based on a film" there is another like me - who wants this show to succeed. But why - because after all it is simply based on another blockbuster movie. We often run 'Five Reasons To See....' features, whereby actors/directors/writers tell us what to expect from a production. So here are my five reasons why I am looking forward to seeing Ghost.



1. The Movie
Okay, so the potter's wheel scene has been sent up so many times now that it may seem a bit quaint and corny. But the film remains a cute, cuddly love story meets crazy comedy and a gripping thriller. A true hybrid genre movie and who can forget the use of music and iconic scenes?

2. Dave Stewart
I loved the Eurythmics and not just for Annie Lennox. This band made a great partnership and I have also purchased some of Mr Stewart's other collaborations. anyone remember his single "Lily Was Here" with Candy Dulfer? As he is behind the music and lyrics for Ghost, we can expect something a bit different from the usual conveyor belt jukebox musical, hopefully.

3. Caissie Levy
Last September I travelled to London to see Hair bow out of the West End. I love the songs in this show but I'm also a big fan of Gavin Creel who played Claude. Unfortunately he had finished his stint in the Broadway transfer. But all was not lost as the cast were tremendous but one performer really caught my eye with her great vocals and vulnerable performance and that was Caissie Levy, who I am convinced will be just as good as Molly. 

4. Manchester gets it first
I love London but Manchester does have a thriving theatre scene which rarely gets the credit it deserves, so it is wonderful that we get to see the show first in its tryout version in the North West. It not only saves us the train fare but also means many people will be visiting this great city from afar and will see what else we have to offer them in good old "Manchester, England."

5. The Fleesh
Any regular theatre-goer in Manchester knows of the Fleeshmans - the talented theatrical family. Dad (David Fleeshman) regularly treads the boards here at the Royal Exchange, the Library Theatre and the Octagon as does mum (Sue Jenkins) for Pele Productions, The Library and recently at the Palace Theatre in The Vagina Monologues. Their son Richard Fleeshman has starred in Coronation Street, won Soapstar Superstar, toured with Elton John, released an album and recently finished starring alongside Sheridan Smith in Legally Blonde. So, it will be interesting to see his Sam opposite Cassie's Molly.

Also, we have Sharon D Clarke - the vocal powerhouse as Oda Mae the medium. What's not to like?



Ghost runs at the Manchester Opera House from 28 March - 14 May.