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Ghost the Musical (Tour - Sunderland)

The stage version of the classic 90s movie ghosts its way into the Sunderland Empire

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Ghost the Musical continues at the Sunderland Empire until 7 December.

Ghost the Musical brings the West End on tour, with its high tech set, brilliant illusions and special effects, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, rather than another venue on its tour.

Sticking to the iconic film story line, we first meet Sam (Stewart Clarke) and Molly (Rebecca Trehearn), as they knock a wall down in their new apartment. The fast paced production then takes us via excellent use of video walls and projections to the bank Sam works at, then the fateful evening where he is killed in an supposed accidental robbery.

From there on in we watch Sam's ghost as he tries to protect Molly from friend Carl Bruner (David Roberts), as Sam now knows he was behind his murder. There is only one issue: Molly cannot see or hear him. The only person who can connect with Sam is fake medium Oda Mae Brown (Wendy Mae Brown). Mae Brown brings the comedy element to the storyline and commands the stage whenever she appears.

Bizarrely, the one downside to the musical is in fact the music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. While is it loud and pulsating, it is completely forgettable. The only memorable song is Unchained Melody, which was a hit years before the film.

However, Ghost is pure theatrical magic at its best, while illusions by Paul Kieve, along with video and projections by designer Jon Driscoll, make this show so memorable. Both Clarke and Mae Brown are outstanding in their roles, supported by a well-drilled ensemble.

Ghost the Musical continues at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland until 7 December.

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