Ghost: The Musical
Liverpool Empire Theatre, Liverpool – Monday 17th February
Showing: 11th - 22nd February
Director: Matthew Warchus
Music: Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard
Cast: Rebecca Trehearn, Stewart Clarke, Wendy Mae Brown, David Roberts, Michael Cortez, Steve Hutchinson, Karlene Wray. Keisha Atwell.
Running time: 2hrs 40
Bruce Joel Rubin’s critically acclaimed musical adaption of his 1990’s academy award winning film Ghost is brought to Liverpool this February. I have the set deposition to expect early nineties floppy hair and jogging pants, with some warm reminiscence.
The production, however, displayed a sophisticated modernity, which had me captivated throughout. The sets were detailed and intricate so that the introductory set really brings the audience into the story, providing a comfortable familiarity.
The scene introduces the warm and powerful vocals of Rebecca Trehearn who thrives in the role of Molly. Her emotive singing throughout, allows for a display of distress and love required for the role. However her chemistry with counterpart Stewart Clarke was a little weak.
Clarke had the uphill struggle of having to play Sam Wheat, and largely succeeded with an energetic performance. If not for the role being limited to distress calls from the rather narrow scripting, I would like to praise more, although Stewart was out shone by his counterpart.
Humour by the boat load and a wardrobe to make Joseph and his Technicolor dream coat jealous is provided via Wendy Mae Brown playing the charismatic Oda Mae, Wendy’s performance is almost worthy of the academy award the original Whoopi Goldberg received for the role. "Talkin' 'Bout a Miracle" almost steals the show and it almost worth seeing Ghost in order to see the marvellous performance of Wendy Mae playing Oda Mae alone.
Furthermore there is always the villain and as so, I want to dislike the character, but not the performance. Executed to the letter, I received a genuine warming when David Robert’s Carl Bruner’s fate materialised and is a credit to his ability to involve the audience with a familiar storyline. The part of Willie Lopez played by Michael Cortez is equally as dislikeable, in a very good way.
This leads me on to the obvious input from Paul Kieve (Inner Magic Circle) which was brilliant. I was perfectly misdirected – to my amazement – on several occasions, with effects allowing the story to flow seamlessly. Another mention is deserved of the sets and lighting.
The vocals are brilliant; the choreography suited and the performance complete.
Chris Says: This is Tom’s first review at The Empire in Liverpool. I certainly hope there are more to come from across the city. Cheers Mate.
Tom Marshall -
Network administrator and newsletter editor for Liverpool Hope University’s Sand dune and shingle network.
Enjoys a surprise and a creative venture; really makes a night memorable. I Have a surprisingly developed background of the gigging circuit in Newcastle from the age of 13. I have some experience independently reviewing as a hobby for a young business enterprise company ‘Wren Music Reviews’. I Maintain and engage my interest in the always present and emergent Liverpool Music scene. Describes his musical taste as varied and diverse, and is always up a new experience. I’ve always been interested into the hectic lifestyle of production, performance and wish my knowledge to grow and grow.