Image: Pamela Raith Photography
I am just going to put my hands up now and say I had never heard nor seen Ghost. Never heard of the 1990 film featuring Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg. I know you must be thinking, where have you been?
Well wherever I was, I certainly was not expecting the rollercoaster of emotions that I experienced at Sunderland Empire.
We see a young in love couple Molly and Sam on their way back to their apartment, Sam is murdered and leaves poor Molly lost and alone. Sam (now a ghost and stuck between worlds) finds the help of a phoney storefront psychic Oda Mae Brown to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger.
Rebekah Lowings as Molly engages with the audience right from the tragedy, as we can’t help but watch and feel sorry for her. Pouring her little heart out, desperate to find reasoning into this total chaos that has just landed in her life. Listening to her performance of With You, Lowing’s vocals are on point as she is still grieving over her love Sam.
Niall Sheehy playing Sam, his vocals are also of the same calibre to Rebekah, I love their duet of Three Little Words. Such a sweet song when Molly needs Sam’s confirmation of love, he just can’t bare to say it, instead, he says it with his eyes and his touch. I am also engaged in his story, following him on his journey to the afterlife- just desperate to protect his true love, Molly.
Fear, not readers, it is not all lovey-dovey. As Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Oda Mae Brown played by Jacqui Dubois provides a light-hearted comedy element to the musical. Providing the laughter in the show, though I have not seen Ghost before I can see elements of Goldbergs in Dubois’s performance.
The set is very simple and feels stripped back in comparison to other musical sets, but I can appreciate that as it allows us to focus on the story and to the emotions from the characters. It is such a beautiful love story for it to be centred around a murder, the strength of the couples love, both wanting to be with one another.
Ghost was the highest grossing film in the year of its release. The film’s most iconic and moving scene was famously performed to The Righteous Brother’s Unchained Melody, which also features in the musical version. The lyric from the song I’ve hungered for your touch is printed on the screen. And as the final scene passes by and the screen goes down, I realise how poignant that lyric is.
Ghost The Musical is heartbreaking, heart aching and simply breathtaking.
GHOST THE MUSICAL is on at the Sunderland Empire till 16 March 2019. Tickets available from the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871 3022* or www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland