12-17 September 2016
Reviewed by Kathryn Hart
Last evening, I had the pleasure of going to see Ghost The Musical at the Bristol Hippodrome. We arrived early and enjoyed a drink in the theatre’s own ‘Piano Bar’ which set the tone for what was an amazing evening.
As we took our seats the theatre took on an atmosphere of anticipation, after all the film that this musical is based upon was an outstanding commercial success with five Oscar nominations, Golden Globe nominations and many more besides, and I can say that we were most definitely not disappointed.
The opening scenes were played out by the lead characters Molly (Sarah Harding who for over ten years was part of one of the most successful pop acts in UK history, Girls Aloud) and Sam (Andy Moss who is best known for his role in Hollyoaks). Sam is a city banker and Molly an artist, they are seemingly blissfully happy together and then with a clever plot that all changes when Sam is mugged and killed one evening. This was performed so incredibly movingly and the audience were completely immersed in this moment. Molly is heartbroken and you see the moment when Sam is stood there watching Molly crying over his dead body and the realisation upon him that he has become a ‘ghost’.
Sam learns that Molly is in grave danger and sets about to try and warn her of the plot that had been played out around them. In doing so, he meets the wonderful Oda Mae (performed by Jacqui Dubois) a phony psychic who he enlists to help him in his quest. I cannot praise Jacqui highly enough, she was totally engaging and without doubt was the star performer last evening. She had us all laughing so hard it hurt.
The plot has the basis of great storytelling, love, betrayal, and bravery. That combined with a truly professional cast made this one musical I will not forget – it was truly wonderful.
Special mention must be made of the ‘sets’. These were fantastic. One moment you were in Downtown Manhattan, and the next minute on the New York subway, the office, the apartment and more. With the clever use of special effects and high tech computer graphics you were totally transported into New York and each scene you felt you were a part of the performance.
The musicians, under the musical directorship of Tim Whiting were outstanding. A key role in any musical and one which can so easily be overshadowed by the cast onstage. I feel special mention should be given to what really was an amazing performance and one which enhanced the evening in such a sensitive manner.
Musical numbers included the very well known ‘Unchained Melody’, among many other previously unknown to me, but equally beautiful songs such as ‘Three Little Words’, and a wonderful performance by the Hospital Ghost (James Earl Adair) of ‘You Gotta Let Go Now’.
At the end of the performance there was a silence, as we all took that moment to breathe again. It was a beautiful moment rounded off by a wonderful applause and standing ovation by many.
Would I recommend this musical? Absolutely. If you have an evening free this week I am certain you will not be disappointed. Arrive early as we did and take a moment to unwind in the ‘Piano Bar’, sit back, relax and enjoy a wonderfully moving performance. (Oh, and don’t forget to take some tissues with you).
Tickets cost from £14.90 to £48.90 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Ghost is at the Bristol Hippodrome until 17 September 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3012.
Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ | 0844 871 3012