|Image is my own|
Last weekend I took to the West End for some musical therapy, and ended up going to the Picadilly Theatre to see Ghost: The Musical.
I went in with mixed expectations, given the London production is closing this October, and will be replaced with Viva Forever at the beginning of November. The show’s original cast, Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman, have since joined the Broadway production of the musical. They were then replaced with Siobhan Dillon and Mark Evans, whose performances are mastered and believable. It was a conscious choice to see the show of a movie I’ve not seen since a young age, although faithful fans of the original won’t be left disappointed at the story’s revival.
The effects are superbly executed, and cast members are forbidden from sharing the secrets of the visual illusions which take place in the show. Sceptics may be wary as to how, without cinematic effect, the audience can be forced to believe that Sam Wheat is a ghost, but not once did it cross my mind that he wasn’t. Although the show is closing this Autumn, it would be a pity if the London production wasn’t filmed and put out on DVD, I’d quite enjoy not having to trek to New York each time I want to have an emotional breakdown.
Suspend My Disbelief/I Had a Life leaves the audience pining for more at the intermission. Audiences know the story, we’ve all had a good old cry at Patrick Swayze, but there’s something fresh about the stage version which marks the audience with a raw sense of loss. We know Sam Wheat is dead- we even saw him die, but at the end of the show we have to accept his fate just as his lover has had to. The vicarious feeling of grief travels through the audience, and we’re left clutching at the final moments in which Sam hovered between life and death. I’ll admit, I bought the CD after the show finished just so I could clutch onto Sam’s last earthly moments even more.