Ghost The Musical @ Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

The stage adaptation of the hit film is a heavenly slice of entertainment

Review by Sarah Colston | 05 Mar 2019

The movie version of Ghost was a massive hit when it was released in 1990, so the stage musical production had a hard act to follow when it opened in the West End in 2011. But the addition of song, music and dance breathe new life into this tale of wistful romance, betrayal and intrigue.

Directed by Bob Thomson, the story follows a young couple – banker Sam (Niall Sheehy) and artist Molly (Rebekah Lowings) – who live a carefree and blissful life in Brooklyn, New York. The plot takes a dark turn when, after a night out, Sam is shot dead on the way home to their apartment. His spirit leaves his body and he appears destined to spend an eternity in a spectral limbo. 

Consumed by grief, Molly is offered solace by the couple’s friend Carl (Sergio Pasquariello) who conceals sinister motives behind a charming veneer. Meanwhile, Sam stumbles through the afterlife and has a brief lesson in telekinetic powers from an aggressively territorial subway train spirit, played by Lovonne Richards, who provides a scary but amusingly hostile cameo performance. Sam soon finds 'bogus' psychic Oda Mae, exuberantly played by Jacqui Dubois, who's shocked to discover that her gift is real and Molly is in danger. 

Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the Ghost screenplay, was said to have been initially opposed to a theatrical version, though he later wrote the book of the musical and contributed some of the lyrics. However, together with collaborators Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame, and songwriter Glen Ballard, he has created a musical score that forms the main impetus behind the show’s affective power. The music brings the emotions of the piece to life, and Molly’s raw despair after losing her soulmate is passionately expressed when Lowings sings a heartfelt version of With You. Alistair David's dazzling choreography by Alistair David and Mark Bailey's vivid Manhattan backdrop set and costume design dovetail to reflect the big city experience.

A recurring motif throughout the story focuses on Sam’s inability to say “I love you” when Molly expresses her love, his default response being “Ditto”. But as Sam's journey through love reaches its redemptive conclusion, this stage adaptation of the hit film delivers a heavenly slice of entertainment.

Ghost The Musical @ Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, until 2 Mar