Ghost The Musical by York Stage Musicals
Grand Opera House, Cumberland Street, York
Till Sat Feb 20, times vary
York Stage Musicals are back with Ghost following their smash-hit musical Legally Blonde last September and they have, yet again, exceeded the high expectations of the audiences of York.
The iconic film Ghost is one of the most popular movies of all time.
With the film’s special effects I wasn’t sure how this would transfer to stage in the musical adaptation.
This is the first theatre production (including professional) that I have seen that has blurred the usually distinctive lines between film and theatre.
Before watching Ghost I did not know this was possible. The staging, lights, graphics and effects were what pulled this musical together and made it work.
The lighting design was innovative; from the portraying of the subway, the video clips, silhouettes and special effects – it was magical to watch and I think this could be a taste of theatre to come in the future.
Of course the lighting wouldn’t be significant if the cast’s performances weren’t as incredible as they were tonight.
I found myself writing down the word ‘incredible’ a lot whilst making notes, because it truly is.
Daniel Conway shines as Sam and resembles a young Patrick Swayze in his electrifying performance; especially in his rendition of Unchained Melody which features a lot within the show.
The chemistry between him and Molly, played by Lauren Sheriston was intense. I honestly believed that they were in love and Molly’s heartbreak was felt as much by the audience as for herself.
Lauren performs the song With You heart-wrenchingly beautifully and it was the first of three times I had to wipe my eyes dry.
Joe Wawrzyniak had the audience loving and hating him as Carl, with top-class acting and Jessica Gardham had us howling with laughter as the very sassy and fabulous Oda Mae who was supported by her hilarious ‘chavvy’ sidekicks Clara (Flo Taylor) and Louise (Alicia Roberts).
Hot under the collar
I believe that a special mention is also deserved to the Subway Ghost – Jonny Holbek for his amazingly powerful and intense performance of the song Focus, which, again, was aided by the brilliant sound and light effects.
Fear not die-hard fans of the movie, the iconic and unforgettable pottery wheel scene IS included in the production and is one of many moments that will leave you feeling hot under the collar.
Director Nik Briggs has done a phenomenal job in putting together this challenging musical, from directing the ensemble (whose mechanical choreography really set the tone to the powerful production) to the set design and to casting the perfect actors for the roles.
Expect to laugh a lot, cry a lot and reflect a lot in this iconic and not to be missed production; which left me wanting to tell my nearest and dearest how much I love them.
Congratulations York Stage Musicals, you’ve done it again, raising the bar even higher for the next production.