The official trailer for Ghost has been released.
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
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.”
Exciting news was released yesterday, Sarah is set to take on the iconic role of Molly Jensen in Ghost the musical, she’ll be playing alongside Andy Moss, who you might recognize as Rhys from Hollyoaks. The tour starts in September and runs until April 2017, at the moment they don’t know what dates Sarah will be doing, but as soon as we have anymore information we’ll let you know.
Sarah said about taking on the role
The film is one of my all-time favourites, so to get the opportunity to play Molly is a huge honour for me and I can’t wait to get started.
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