Leeds University Union Music Theatre presents an amateur production of Ghost – The Musical at the University’s Riley Smith Hall. The musical is based on the 1990 Blockbuster film which stars the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg and Tony Goldwyn.
The synopsis is about two young lovers, Sam Wheat and Molly Jenson, who move to New York City. One fateful night changes their lives forever and the only connection, from that point forward, is for Sam, who still exists in the world but as a ghost, is to employ Oda Mae Brown to forewarn Molly the dangers ahead.
The staging is simple and indeed effective throughout the performance. There is great use of the technological visuals and lighting for the backdrop that synchronises the scenes such as the moving subway train with New Yorkers, played by the ensemble, commuting during rush hour.
The creative use of sounds though loud apply appropriately for Sam’s attempts to connect from one world to another and disappearances including Carl’s are disguised with strobe lighting and smoke. The clever transition from Oda Mae Brown to Sam works in the penultimate scene, Unchained Melody dance scene.
The audience receives moving performances from the cast including the three principals; Sam McCagherty (Sam Wheat), Anna Carley (Molly Jenson) and Sophie Rush (Oda Mae Brown). McCagherty and Carley successfully ride this romantic journey with their indirect connection through the present world and the next one.
The performance begins with the optimistic Here Right Now; the heartfelt and moving Three Little Words just before that fateful moment; and Oda Mae Brown and company energetically sing the colourful gospel sounding Are You a Believer? Contrasting themes such as trust/betrayal, optimism/pessimism and hope/jeopardy are explored in Suspend My Disbelief/I Had A Life when Sam, Molly and Carl (Adam Jones) summarise their lives at the end of the first Act.
In Act II there is the rapping of Focus by the Subway Ghost and the show stopping I’m Outta Here. All these popular musical numbers set to Dave Stewart’s music and Glen Ballard’s lyrics. Of course there is the infamous Unchained Melody which is synonymous to the film.
Leeds University Union Music Theatre with its exceptional cast and talented crew has collectively put together this successful amateur production which certainly makes an enjoyable and entertaining evening.
Reviewed: 18th November 2015
Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood