Venue: Grand Opera House, York
‘Ghost’ (1990) directed by Jerry Zucker became the 93rd highest grossing film in 2015. Often highly valued on ‘most romantic’ films lists, it was a turning tale of love, mystery and letting go (not forgetting the infamously steamy pottery scene).
It was transposed to musical form in 2011, was successfully transferred to the Broadway stage in 2012, and is now on route with its worldwide tour currently in Australia. However, I was fortunate to see it presented at the York Grand Opera House this past Tuesday 16th February by the talented ‘York Stage Musicals’ theatre group that have a run until the 20th February.
Only two days after Valentines, the opening night of ‘Ghost’ would have been a great way to blow away post-Valentine blues. As a witness to their previous blow-away productions ‘Legally Blonde’ (September 2015) and ‘Hairspray’ (March 2015) I had high expectations, and ‘Ghost’ didn’t disappoint. Once again ‘York Stage Musicals’ have not been afraid to set themselves a challenge, embraced ambition and delivered a result that is nothing less than a heart-wrenching spectacle.
The musical flowed seamlessly from one sequence to the next; moving from Molly and Sam’s loft house apartment to an office building to Oada Mae’s séance and even creating an underground train at the back of the stage. The design meant that there was only one scene where it was noticeably a ‘set change’; I swear the sofa just disappeared at one point! Additionally the use of lighting was taken to a new level, used throughout it could have been described as ‘over the top’ but it was too well thought through and complimentary to the stage action, working with the actors and movement to truly bring the scenes to life.
At the heart of every scene were the two leads, namely ‘Laura Sheriston’ as ‘Molly’ and ‘Daniel Conway’ as ‘Sam Wheats’, both of whose voices soared throughout the Grand York Opera House, and whose genuine connection on stage had me weeping by the finale.
A special mention has to go to Jessica Gardham for her portrayal of the troubled psychic ‘Oada Mae’ whose easy wit and one-liners kept a welcomed joviality to the piece. A charm balanced by unexpected villain ‘Carl’, and the chorus who were on-point throughout.
Ultimately, this is a show that takes you along for a ride; you will experience beautiful highs, and (equally beautiful) lows. So be prepared; you can truly believe in the talent behind York Stage Musicals ‘Ghost’.