The run of Ghost The Musical is being cut short to make way for Viva Forever, the Spice Girls musical which will start its previews at the Piccadilly Theatre on 27th November. Whilst we are excited about the upcoming Spicefest we can't help be sad that Ghost will be moving on from the West End. A national tour seems likely but dates or venues have not been announced as yet. We have a sneaky feeling that Ghost The Musical is going to follow the same pattern as Dirty Dancing. Billed as Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage, that show departed the Aldwych Theatre in July 2011 after a five year run prior to its own national tour. It is one of the most requested shows that are no longer in London with customers kicking themselves that they didn't snap up tickets sooner.
Ghost The Musical fills a similar musical template. Both are based on a classic movie that has a large fanbase - the original 1990 film of Ghost starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg was a box office sensation. Nominated for five Academy Awards it won for Best supporting Actress (Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay. On a $21million budget it grossed an astounding $505million at the box office as well as being a hugely popular video and dvd seller. It has since been regarded as something of a cult classic while its iconic scene of Swayze and Moore with a potters wheel coupled with The Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody has become engrained in the public's conscience.
The musical seemed an obvious choice for the stage and an adaptation had long been rumoured. It originally opened at the Manchester Opera House in March 2011, before transferring to the Piccadilly Theatre that June. Coronation Street heartthrob Richard Fleeshman played Sam, Caissie Levy played Molly and Sharon D.Clarke took on Goldberg's role of medium Oda Mae Brown. When the show transferred to Broadway in March 2012 Fleeshman and Levy reprised their roles while Clarke remains in the show with current cast members Mark Evans and Siobhan Dillon.
The show's booking period had been extended to the end of 2012 but has now been reduced. Despite some mixed critical response audience reaction to the show has been extremely favourable and upcoming productions are set to open in both Australia and Holland. A number of musicals that haven't had the critics 100% enraptured have still proved to be big public-pleasers, such as We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia and indeed Dirty Dancing. The visual effects for Ghost The Musical have received universal acclaim and been nominated for numerous awards.
The musical tells the tale of broken-hearted Molly, who loses Sam, the love of her life after a tragic altercation with one of his unscrupulous work colleagues. Unbeknownst to her, Molly's life is in danger because of her perceived knowledge so Sam's spirit has a race against time as he desperately tries to make contact with her through seemingly hokey medium Oda Mae Brown in order to warn her. The strong themes of eternal love, loss, tragedy and reunion are balanced with comic relief and a solid score.
Ghost The Musical now closes on 6th October so with just over two months left, just like with Sam, time is running out!