Ghost review Manchester

GHOSTBANNER

The good thing about bad reviews is that they certainly lower one’s expectations when heading to a show.
And so it is that Ghost the Musical returns to Manchester after a rather mixed reception to its run in this new, “reimagined” production from Bill Kenwright.
The good news is its two starring performers, Girls Aloud pop star Sarah Harding and former Hollyoaks actor Andy Moss, are much more polished than those nasty social media commentators would have you believe.
The bad news is, this “reimagining” of the show has stripped out most of the magical moments that made it such a big hit in the city when it had its world premiere here at Manchester Opera House back in 2011.
What remains is a sort of soap opera retelling of the hit 1990 movie starring Patrick Swayze as murdered Sam Wheat who must enlist the help of ‘phoney’ medium Oda Mae Brown to protect his love Molly Jensen from impending doom.
While the film drew memorable performances from all three leading roles (Demi Moore as Molly and Whoopi Goldberg in Oscar-winning formas Oda Mae), it’s only really the Oda Mae character that transforms convincingly in a musical stage version.
Jacqui Dubois is a joy as the comedic clairvoyant who finally inherits her family’s “gift” for communicating with the afterlife when ghost Sam arrives at her parlour. Her songs, Are You a Believer and I’m Outta Here, are the big showstoppers and it is Jacqui winning the biggest cheers at the curtain call at the Palace Theatre.
But there’s also a lot of hometown love for Stockport-raised Sarah and Denton’s Andy in the leading roles.
They do make an engaging couple on stage, with some sizzling chemistry to recreate the film’s now infamous pottery wheel scene.
This new production also makes fresh use of the film’s “anthem” of The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody which is a welcome addition.
Sarah and Andy said ahead of the show they hoped to “prove critics wrong” and the duo certainly proved they can belt out a song.
Few could fail to be moved by the show’s standout number With You, Molly’s heart-wrenching love letter of grief, which Sarah sings with pure, tender and all-too-real emotion, earning huge applause from the audience on opening night.
Ghost the Musical is at the Palace Theatre until Saturday, October 29

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/theatre-review-ghost-musical-palace-12081964

Sarah Harding Ghost Interview Manchester 1

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Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding and co-star Andy Moss are hoping for home town roars of approval for their performance of Ghost the musical at the Palace Theatre this week
Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding aims to “prove the critics wrong” as she prepares to make her hometown theatrical debut in Ghost the Musical in Manchester.

The new production of the musical starring pop star Sarah and former Hollyoaks star Andy Moss has faced its share of criticism since debuting in London earlier this year.

But Stockport-raised Sarah and Denton-born Andy are hoping that now they’re on home turf in Manchester, they will get a warm northern welcome from the audiences here.

The duo are both excited to be back home for the performances this week at the Palace Theatre of the musical, based on the hit 1980s movie starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, and which had its world premiere in Manchester back in 2011.
Sarah says: “I never thought in a million years I’d do a full on lead role in a musical, but anyone who knows me knows I like a challenge and I like to push myself above and beyond.

“I thought it could help improve my acting skills, and I’m singing solo a lot more than I have done before and it’s also great to tread the boards. It’s an iconic film that I love, I’m very honoured to do it.

“It’s also really nice to show a different side to me, a softer side of me. People think of me as the blonde loud lairy one from Girls Aloud, but that’s not me when I go home at the end of the night, that was a persona I was given in the band and I did play up to it quite a lot but that’s not me 24/7.”
Sarah says she preferred not to read comments about the early performances of the show, saying: “I choose not to engage in the negativity because at the end of the day this is what we’re doing, this is what we love doing, if you want to come and see it, come and see it and see if we can prove you wrong.”

Co-star Andy adds: “Obviously opening in London is different to opening anywhere else in the country. What we found was that most of the people commenting hadn’t even been to see the show. It was a weird experience because I’ve never had such negative stuff before, but it was just a small pocket of people who didn’t want the show to succeed, or were annoyed about people off the telly being cast in these roles.

“What we found is that at the end of each performance we know we’ve done a good job because the house is full and the crowd is applauding – and in Cardiff last week we were getting standing ovations.”
It’s certainly an emotional drama for the two – who play the star-crossed lovers Molly and Sam – including that very famous pottery wheel scene.

And they admit there will be extra emotion with so many family and friends cheering them on in Manchester this week.

Sarah says: “Manchester is our home and we want to do our families proud.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/sarah-harding-critics-wrong-ghost-12077707

Sarah releases a statement

Since appearing in The Jump I have been in constant pain with a knee injury, and as anyone who has experienced chronic pain will tell you, it can take a serious toll on you both physically and emotionally.
And at the same time I have the pressure of performing daily, for the first time in my career, in musical theatre – and as a lot of people know, I give the role of Molly in Ghost The Musical my absolute all at every performance.
But it is the relentless media scrutiny, the social media trolling and the sensationalised and at times fabricated stories in the press that hurt the most.
This opportunity was a dream come true for me. I have the privilege of working with a group of incredibly talented and dedicated individuals in a wonderful production. So despite some people and even some publications seemingly having an agenda to hurt me or to make me quit, I remain committed to the production, the cast, the crew, the producers and of course the amazing audiences round the UK who have been hugely supportive. Thank you all.

Sarah released the above press statement on Friday.

We don’t often comment of the stuff the press write about Sarah because we don’t feel the need to bring even more attention to the lies they seem fit to write, but on this occasion we feel we need to say something.

The abuse Sarah has received over the past few months has been heartbreaking for us to read so we dread to think how Sarah and her family and friends must feel reading it all. We have never understood why people feel the need to post abusive things to people they know nothing about. Are their own lifes lacking that they feel the need to do it? Do people not realise that celebrities are human? Yes we get that not everyone might like the person but why to go out of their way to send nasty, abusive comments to them!

The press have been so unfair and cruel to Sarah since Ghost started but especially more so over the past week, where some publications have literally brought up every single bad thing that has happened in Sarahs life, why do they feel the need to do this. If they aren’t bringing up her past they are fabricating stories claiming a source has told them, as soon as you see the term source in an article you know its going to be full of bullshit. We often wonder if journalists have feelings, would they want someone to write an article like they write about their daughter, sister, friend? We highly doubt most of them would, so the question is why do they think they can write it about someone that they don’t know? Whenever they post an article about Ghost they always post the negative comments and never the positive ones, why is this? We have seen so many positive comments about Sarah’s role in Ghost yet the press never publish those. Maybe instead of writing negative articles tearing Sarah apart all the time they should write a positive one, giving her credit for the hard work shes doing and use the positive comments that are tweeted.

We have seen Sarah in Ghost a few times and we think she’s amazing in it, she really does have such a good voice, shes doing herself and everyone proud (and no we’re not being biased there). We went to see the show in Blackpool and when we checked into our B&B the owners asked why we’d come to Blackpool and we said to watch Ghost they said, we watched that last week and Sarah Harding was really good in it and didn’t deserve all the abuse she was receiving, we’d not even mentioned Sarah to them and that was what they said to us.

We’re going to appeal to people and say go and watch Ghost yourself and form your own opinions instead of listening to the press, the trolls online and the bitter people who are just pissed off the role has gone to Sarah and not some musical theatre student.

We’re also going to appeal to the press and online trolls, before you write/tweets abusive articles/comments please try to think about how it all must be making Sarah feel, shes a human being at the end of the day and doesn’t deserve this constant harassment shes receiving. Sarah is one of the sweetest people we have ever had the pleasure of meeting, she is also such a hardworking woman who always puts 110% into every single thing that she does.

If you want to book tickets for Ghost heres the dates left of the tour and the links you need.

17th – 22th October

Cardiff New Theatre

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

https://tickets.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk/WEBPAGES/EntaWebShow/ShowDatesCombo.aspx

25th – 29th October

Manchester Palace Theatre

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/ghost-the-musical-tickets/

31st October – 5th November

Oxford New Theatre

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/ghost-the-musical-tickets/

8th – 12th November

Dublin Bord Gais

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/search?tm_link=tm_homeA_header_search&user_input=ghost&q=ghost

14th – 19th November

Leeds Grand Theatre

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

https://www.leedsgrandtheatre.com/Online/ghost

21st – 26th November

Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/ghost-the-musical-tickets/

28th November – 3rd December

Theatre Royal Nottingham

Sarah is schedule to appear for all performances

https://trch.co.uk/whats-on/ghost-the-musical/

 

Sarah Harding Birthday Charity Fundraiser 2016

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As most of you will already be aware for the past 3 years we have raised money for charity for Sarah’s birthday. Sarah can afford to buy anything she wants herself so this is something nice that the fans can do to help Sarah celebrate her birthday.

To donate here’s the link you need

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SarahHardingBirthday2016

You can also donate via text by texting SNHB49 followed by the amount you want to donate upto £10 and send to 70070

We spoke to Sarah about this in Birmingham when Ghost was playing there and we asked what charity she’d like us to raise money for this year and she said Canine Partners, you might remember that Sarah visited Canine Partners as part of the Pride of Britain tour in 2014.

Sarah said about her visit

I couldn’t believe it when they showed me a dog who can open a washing machine, put the washing in and close the door.

The work these volunteers do is incredibly selfless and they are just the kind of people who should be recognised by Pride of Britain – they’ll be getting my nomination.

Here’s a video of Sarah visiting Canine Partners, credit to the Mirror for the video.

Canine Partners is an amazing charity, so come on guys get donating and lets see if we can beat last years total.

WHAT CANINE PARTNERS DO

Canine Partners is a registered charity that transforms the lives of people with physical disabilities by partnering them with assistance dogs. Our amazing dogs bring a greater independence and quality of life to their partners, offering security, companionship, and practical help with everyday household tasks. These life-changing dogs also provide psychological and social benefits including increased independence, confidence, social interaction and self-esteem.

We receive no government funding and rely solely on donations from the public and legacies to help us continue our life-transforming work.

Our assistance dogs are trained to meet the needs of individuals with even the most complex physical disabilities. We currently help adults aged 18 and over (both civilians and former service personnel) who have a physical disability or condition that affects their daily life and limits their independence.

Some of the disabilities and conditions we work with are:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spinal injuries and head injuries
  • Stroke
  • Osteoarthritis and scoliosis
  • Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Friedrich’s ataxia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spina bifida
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones)

We are working in partnership with Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and other services organisations to provide assistance dogs for veterans and those wounded in service

For more information see the link below

https://caninepartners.org.uk/

Watch Sarah Harding on Celebrity Home Secrets

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Sarah was on Celebrity Home Secrets last night showing people round properties that she used to live in. If you missed it you can catch up for the next 30 days on the ITV hub see link below.

http://www.itv.com/hub/celebrity-home-secrets/2a4461a0004

Sarah Harding Celebrity Home Secrets

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Famous faces revisit their former homes to share memories and secrets from when they lived there. Singer and actress Sarah Harding revisits the apartments where Girls Aloud lived after their first number one success and reveals why the bathroom at her childhood home was where her dreams of stardom began.

Sarah Harding was born in 1981 and was brought up in Wraysbury, a small village outside Slough on the Heathrow flight path. This childhood home is the first visit on Sarah’s journey through her property ladder.

Even as she arrives outside the home where she grew up, she is overcome with emotion at the memory of her happy childhood. Sarah recounts how she was a bit of a ‘tom-boy’ and loved climbing trees. She even tried to ‘escape’ from her bedroom once when she’d been sent there for being naughty. She climbed out of the window by knotting her clothes together. When the makeshift ‘rope’ snapped she dropped the remaining few feet onto the patio. Luckily she was unhurt!
Even as a young girl she says she loved to ‘put on a show’ for anyone who’d watch. She even remembers having a ‘set list’ of songs she sang in the shower – which included Sheryl Crow’s ‘All I Wanna Do’. She asked her dad ‘is this how you get famous by singing in the shower?’ Her dad and brother were both musical, and as a small girl she had her own guitar and tiny amp. She bids her childhood home goodbye with fond tears – because she says ‘part of me still is that little girl’.

When Sarah was 14 her parents separated and she went to live with her mum in Manchester. It was while she was here she did her singing ‘apprenticeship’ doing gigs at caravan parks and social clubs in North Wales. It was also while she lived in Manchester she attended the audition that gave her the fame she wanted so badly.

Sarah’s next revisit is to the apartments the record company rented for Girls Aloud just after their first single ‘Sound of The Underground’ went to number one for Christmas 2002. The audition that changed Sarah’s life was for one of the earliest reality TV talent shows, ‘Pop Stars – The Rivals’. Viewers voted to select the members of a boy band and a girl band who would compete for the Christmas number one slot. Sarah’s audition in Manchester won her a place in the show and after 8 weeks of judges and viewer’s votes she was the final member of the new group Girls Aloud as announced by the show’s host Davina McCall.

At these apartments in North London Sarah remembers the other band members were terrible pranksters, and one weekend they even phoned her to tell her that her apartment had burned down – and after she burst into tears they all ‘started cackling’ down the phone. The converted former Victorian hospital was originally named Hatch Lunatic Asylum and was the biggest psychiatric hospital in Europe. The girls renamed it Pop Star Heights because of the other bands including Busted and N-Dubz who were living there too.
When Girls Aloud’s success continued Sarah was able to buy her first flat in Kentish Town, north London. Perhaps influenced by the converted hospital she’d moved from, this flat was part of a converted Victorian school. She remembers gutting the flat and remodelling it – discovering in the process that property ownership isn’t all plain sailing. Sometimes the building work was so noisy she used to ‘grab my duvet and go and sleep in the car’.

The next property she visits is a flat she rented in Hampstead when Girls Aloud were rehearsing for their third national tour in 2007. She loved living in Hampstead, but there was a big catch. She describes being followed by paparazzi every time she left the front door – even when she popped out to buy milk. Girls Aloud were at the height of their success when she lived here – and won a Brit Award for their single ‘The Promise’. Even Sarah’s dogs were targeted by the paparazzi.

It was the unwelcome attention of photographers that led to Sarah’s next house move – to her current home in Buckinghamshire. She figured the paparazzi wouldn’t travel that far outside London to get a snap of her nipping out for milk.

Since Girls Aloud split in 2012 Sarah has turned to acting. She appeared in the feature film St Trinian’s 2, the BBC TV movie Freefall and Coronation Street. She says she dreams of being a Bond girl. She still lives in Buckinghamshire today surrounded by her 3 dogs, 2 cats, her decks and her instruments. Although she has pop memorabilia on display, her house is surprisingly homely – her prized Aga is the centre of the kitchen. Of life now she says ‘the only thing I love and that I do take to heart is what I love doing, and that’s my music’.

Celebrity Home Secrets: A So Television / Sunnyside Productions Co-production
Executive Producers: Graham Stuart, Andrea Miller, Jerry Foulkes
Directed and filmed by: Rebekah Levine

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