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 Ghost Interview 1

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The UK tour of Ghost – The Musical opened this week with former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding making her stage debut as Molly, the role originally played by Demi Moore in the hit 1990 film.

Sarah is co-starring alongside ex-Hollyoaks actor Andy Moss, playing the role of her lover, Sam, in Bill Kenwright’s new production, which is inspired by the popular romantic fantasy thriller.
How exciting is it to be making your stage debut in Ghost – The Musical?

It’s a bit of everything – excitement, nervousness, fear, elation, everything really. I didn’t know if I had it in me to do a musical because when you’re doing film or TV you can always do retakes, but you can’t do that with a musical. But the one thing you do get is lots of rehearsal time, just like you would have if you were doing a concert tour. It’s like a Girls Aloud tour, except instead of dancing I’m learning lines. I’m learning new songs but I don’t have to learn 20 new dance routines, it’s 20 pages – well, triple that – of dialogue. But your muscle memory takes over and it becomes second nature, just like it did when we were rehearsing our tours back in the day. There’s a bit more to think about, with the staging and the drama and the emotion, and it’s a very heart-felt and touching story.

What was it about this particular show that made you say yes?

I took it on because I really connected with the story. I think everyone can relate on some scale to losing somebody they’ve loved. It really isn’t hard for me to turn on the waterworks. (Laughs)
Has musical theatre always been an ambition?

I did a bit of training in acting when I was younger but singing was always my forte. I’ve done a few bits and bobs acting wise, like St Trinian’s, but this is my first proper lead. There were a few female leads in St Trinian’s but this is the only female lead, apart from Oda Mae Brown [Jacqui Dubois]. It was the same with Girls Aloud; there was me and four other girls. Now when I’m singing my solo it’s all eyes on me and it’s me on my own. I don’t have my dancers like I would if I was doing a solo gig, it’s just me, I’m being Molly, I’m singing a heart-felt ballad and I’m acting at the same time, so it’s a completely different kettle of fish. The singing is completely different too. It’s not like you’re belting out big hits and stuff, it has to come from inside. You have to internalise all that emotion and not be over-the-top with it. I have a whole new appreciation for musical theatre. I’m like the new girl in school.
What’s your take on Molly?

She’s a strong lady but she’s vulnerable. She’s lost the man she thought she was about to marry. She was deeply, devastatingly in love with Sam [Andy Moss] and he was taken from her so suddenly. They never had chance to say goodbye. There was no closure.
Is she someone you can relate to?Yes, I can. I’ve been heartbroken and it’s really tough. And from Sam’s point of view he probably feels the same because he doesn’t feel it was his time to go. Things have to be resolved before he can finally say goodbye. The final scenes are so touching and I can’t watch the film without crying. Anything with Patrick Swayze in, I love it. He was one of my heartthrobs growing up – him and the John Hughes films.

How is it working with Andy Moss, who plays Sam?

I love Andy so much. He’s like my teddy bear. I’m like ‘Andy, you’re the actor, you’re the professional one, how would you do it?’ We’re doing our duets, there are a few times when it’s us and Sam Ferriday [Carl], then there’s the whole ensemble… We’re becoming like a family. The first week of rehearsals was the toughest for me because most of the cast have done this before. They’ve trained or they’ve acted before full-time. They’ve had that experience I’ve never had before. I’ve been on stage and I’ve been a singer, but I’ve been a pop singer, not a musical theatre singer. But they have taken me under their wing. They’ll go ‘Try it like this’ and if I’ve over-sung something, like I would in the band maybe, they’ll be ‘Hold back and save your voice for this part’. It’s a different mic set-up as well. I’m not holding a mic, I’m acting.

Why do you think this particular story means so much to so many people?

Everybody on their journey in life experiences loss in some way or another. We’re all born, we’re all here, we all love, we all lose and we all have to pass on at some point. It’s a fact of life and it’s telling that story in a tragic but very loving and heart-felt way. It’s about saying goodbye and mourning that loss. It’s just so touching and I’m so honored to be playing this part because the film was one of the most iconic films for me growing up.
What are you most looking forward to about the tour?

Oh man, I’ve missed touring, except I won’t be able to go out on stage and go ‘Hey, Glasgow!’ [Laughs] That won’t be happening. It will be difficult not being able to interact with the audience because I’m so used to getting a crowd going. When it came to going out on stage I’d step up and get into my caricature mode of the leery Sarah everyone thought I was. People are finally going to see that there’s a softer side to me they haven’t seen before. Normally that side is reserved for behind closed doors, for my friends and my family. I don’t like to show weakness. People don’t, do they? People are going to see a whole different side of me and I’m hoping they’ll empathise a little and [laughs] go ‘You know what, maybe she’s not that bad a person after all’. My whole mission is to get the audience crying. I’m going to get this play sponsored by Kleenex! (Laughs)

How will you be spending your downtime?

Are you someone who enjoys exploring different towns and cities?I just like being on the road. I’m quite a free spirit and, like I say, I’m not always 100 mph like everyone thinks I am. I live in the country so it’s very chilled.When I’m on tour I love to take in new cities and I love to travel. When I toured with the girls I used to go out and explore places with some of the dancers, go for lunch, whatever. I like being on the move. I get bored doing the same thing. I really struggled with a structured job when I finished education. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done it and I have a huge respect for people who do those jobs because a lot of them are very important. But I’m not that sort of person. [Laughs] Don’t put Baby in a corner! Wrong film, I know, but I feel I’m a cross between Molly from Ghost and Baby from Dirty Dancing.

Will it be strange being on the road without your Girls Aloud bandmates?

It is strange, I’m not gonna lie, but Jacqui who plays Oda Mae has really taken me under her wing. She’s had 30 years’ experience doing this so if there’s anyone who’s going to help me with ‘How would you do that? How would you react? How do internalise? How do you externalise?’ it’s Jacqui. I’m learning all these new different terms like ‘downstage centre’ and ‘midstage centre’. I’m like ‘What? We didn’t have that in the band!’ It was just ‘Get here, get there, here’s your dance partner, get the audience going, belt one out’. I’m hoping this is going to add another string to my bow and it’s going to show people I’m capable of more than just being on stage going ‘Come on everybody!’ It’s a massive learning curve for me. It’s almost like I’ve been sent to summer stage camp. One thing I always wanted to do as a child was go to full-time drama college but my parents couldn’t afford it. So this has been like boot camp and I’m loving it.

Ghost The Musical is at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal from Monday, November 28 to Saturday, December 3. For tickets visit trch.co.uk.

Source

Sarah does a live facebook chat with Dan Wootton

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Sarah did a live facebook chat with Dan Wootton on the 10th August 2016. She chatted about her role in Ghost, performing at Pride, she answered questions from Dan and questions from fans. You can watch it online on the link below

Sarah Harding opens up about Girls Aloud and Ghost: The Musical

Girls Aloud legend Sarah Harding is LIVE talking about Ghost: The Musical and answering some of my spooky showbiz questions

Posted by Dan Wootton on Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sarah even gave us and addicts a mention on the chat, congratulating us on the 10th anniversary on the website.