It may come as a shock to many of you but I have never seen the original ghost film, yes that is right I have never seen it before, apart from being familiar with the old unchained melody scene that was all I knew. So when I got asked to cover the play at last minute, I went in with a pretty unbiased opinion of the play. I was not comparing it or contrasting it, just watching it, following the story line and enjoying it. It was also my first time in the Palace theatre so a little overwhelmed by how beautiful the Building was and in my opinion the perfect place for the play.
Now in the time of writing this review, I have searched some of the most memorable scenes on Youtube just to have a look at how the play compared and tackled some pretty challenging obstacles, as in all honesty I could tell that reenacting a ghost in a live setting would be quite hard compared to using effects in a movie although it was done very well.
One thing that really impressed me a lot was the unappreciated use of Magic in the play, being a magician myself, I noticed some fairly recent magic ideas being used in the background of the play, including a floating Ipad on the tube scene and a floating psychic ball even though it added dramatically to the play although it was sadly not as appreciated as it should have been. Including very clever uses of misdirection in general, I will not say were as I don’t want to ruin it but you will tell when you watch it. In fact, I come up with a few more uses of magic that could have been involved and improved, so if you need a magical advisor get in touch I would be happy to discuss some of my ideas.
Now to get on to the real business, The play. At first I was a little immature about the play, laughing at times when I probably shouldn’t, I was not sure what to expect but in all honesty found the beginning a little cheesy although looking at it, I definitely think it was meant to be like that, to create an intimacy and light hearted feel, more than likely to lure you into this false sense of security, as it is actually a very deep storyline and my immaturity soon changed quickly getting drawn into this play and really wanting to find out what happened next.
I do not want to give to much of the storyline away as if I had known what had happened, i probably would not have enjoyed as much as i did. Let’s put it this way i will definitely be watching the movie now.
With the four main characters Rebekah Lowings playing Molly, Niall Sheehy playing Sam, Sergio Pasquariello as Carl and Jacqui Dubois as Oda. The cast were very professional. A small crew really but they all worked very hard. They also set the stage and some of the cast having to play more than one character but it did not feel like it was the same person twice. The use of staging was done professionally transporting you from a small brooklyn apartment to a grotty subway, to a dodgy palm readers shop. You could tell that a lot of thought had been put into it. There was a small medical issue off stage, between the play and suddenly the curtain fell and an announcement was given. these things do happen and it did not affect the play, the curtain rised again and the cast remained as before as if nothing happened and continued to be very professional.
The singing was all live and sounded incredible, backed by a live band to give it a real atmosphere, sadly we never got to see the band which was a shame as i think it would created more of a live feel but I am sure there is a reason as to why.
Some parts were different to the clips I have seen from the movie. Understandably some being different due to them not being able to reenact things that you are only capable of doing on camera and some was more comedic. Also the play was brought across into the modern day with a use of phones, computers and the odd Ipad it was a more realistic to a an audience of today. Scenes to make people laugh, Cry, Make you jump it was genuinely a real rollercoaster of emotion and it really drew me in.
I honestly enjoyed the play a lot more that I thought I would have. Seeing people really tear up at the end, you can tell that the audience participated in a way i never seen, you could not hear a pin drop, no talking, no eating, no drinking, just watching. Not a head moved from the stage and everybody left with a smile, wanting to watch it again. The train journey home felt a little different watching newspapers move in the wind it definitely made you think.
Ghost runs until Saturday 20th april at the Palace Theatre Manchester
to book tickets click HERE