Category Archives: Shows

Strictly Ballroom the Musical

Baz Luhrmann’s stunning musical Strictly Ballroom the Musical comes to the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre for a strictly limited run, directed and choreographed by Olivier Award-winner Drew McOnie. Last seen at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2016, the show is based on Luhrmann’s 1992 film of the same name.

An uplifting tale that inspired the world to start dancing, Strictly Ballroom the Musical follows maverick championship ballroom dancer Scott, as he defies the rules of the competition to follow his heart. Teaming up with left-footed partner Fran, the pair set out to win the legendary Pan Pacifics his way.

Based on a short play written by Luhrmann in the 1980’s, Strictly Ballroom became his first ever film and is one of the highest-grossing Australian movies of all time. Making up the “Red Curtain Trilogy”, which also features Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge, the film went on to be adapted into a musical in 2016 by Luhrmann and Craig Pierce.

A kaleidoscopic musical packed full of colour, sensational dance and a heart-warming love story, Strictly Ballroom the Musical includes a stellar score, featuring some of the hits from the original film, including “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps”, “Time After Time” and “Standing in the Rain”.

Led by Drew McOnie, who has Olivier Award-winning productions under his belt including In the Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre and Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Strictly Ballroom the Musical is a joyful celebration of dance and romance. The production plays at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre from 16th March 2018.

Cast and Creative

Olivier Award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie directs and choreographs the production, with previous credits including the award-winning In the Heights and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as Jekyll & Hyde and On the Town. Created by Baz Luhrmann, the musical features a book by Luhrmann and Craig Pierce, with set design by Soutra Gilmour, costume design by Catherine Martin, lighting design by Howard Hudson and sound design by Gareth Owen.

Casting is yet to be announced for Strictly Ballroom the Musical. Casting at the West Yorkshire Playhouse premiere included Sam Lips, Gemma Sutton, Tamsin Carroll, Stephen Matthews, Julius D’Silva, Richard Grieve, Eve Polycarpou, Charlotte Gooch, Lauren Stroud, Jade Albertsen, Liam Marcellino, Gary Watson, Michelle Bishop, Richard Dempsey and Zak Memorin.

Song List

  • “Love Is In The Air”
  • “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps”
  • “La Cumparsita/Tango Please”
  • “Tequila/Sinful Samba”
  • “Rhumba de Burros”
  • “Doug’s Tearful Waltz/First Kiss”
  • “Time After Time”
  • “Standing in the Rain”
  • “Yesterday’s Hero”
  • “The Blue Danube”
  • “Scott & Fran’s Paso Doble”

Show Lengths and Times

Strictly Ballroom the Musical plays at the Piccadilly Theatre London from 16th March to 21st July 2018, with an official press night on 11th April 2018. Performances are at 7:30pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees at 2:30pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Show running time is 2 hours and 35 minutes, including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

Strictly Ballroom the Musical contains mild adult themes, but is suitable for all ages. Under 5’s will not be admitted into the theatre.

Videos

Tickets

Tickets for Strictly Ballroom the Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre London are now on sale. Get tickets by using the search form at the top right of the page.

Reviews

Have you seen Strictly Ballroom the Musical? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Annie

‘a roar of warmth’

‘just what London needs right now’

‘both humane and inspiring’

Meera Syal takes on the role of Miss Hannigan from 27 November 2017!

Nikolai Foster’s smash-hit production of Annie continues to play at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre for an extended London season.

Based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the musical charts the journey of Annie as she goes from forgotten orphan to daughter of a billionaire. Set in 1930’s New York, during the Great Depression, Annie and her fellow orphans are forced to live a life of misery in the drunken Miss Hannigan’s demanding orphanage.

Annie’s luck soon changes when she is picked to spend Christmas with the known billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. As Warbucks and his employees begin to fall in love with the feisty young girl, Miss Hannigan and her cronies hatch a plan to snatch her away and get some fortune of their own.

Originally played by Carol Burnett in the 1982 film, Miss Hannigan is a role that has been played by some of the stage’s greatest stars. Miranda Hart opened in the role at the beginning of the run, joining the likes of Sheila Hancock, Paul O’Grady, Sue Pollard, Kim Criswell, Kathy Bates and Cameron Diaz (from the 2014 film).

Most recently seen on a UK tour starring Craig Revel Horwood, who returns for a limited 10-week season in September, Annie last appeared on the West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998. Now, a brand new production plays at the Piccadilly Theatre London.

Cast and Creative

Artistic Director of Leicester Curve Nikolai Foster directs Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, with previous West End credits including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Beautiful Thing and Flashdance. Annie features a book by Thomas Meehan (The Producers) and music by Charles Strouse, with lyrics by Martin Charnin. This production features design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker.

Award-winning actress and comedian Miranda Hart (Call the Midwife) made her West End debut as the horrific Miss Hannigan, before Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood took over the role in September. Further casting includes Alex Bourne (Mamma Mia!) as Oliver Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer (Sweet Charity) as Grace and Jonny Fines and Djalenga Scott as Rooster and Lily respectively. Craig Revel Horwood takes over the role of Miss Hannigan from September.

Annie will be shared between three young actors; Madeleine Haynes, Lola Moxom and Ruby Stokes, with Sandy the dog played by 4 year old pup Amber. Ensemble members include Keisha Atwell, Sophie Ayers, Bobby Delaney, Nic Gibney, Patrick Harper, Ben Harrold, George Ioannides, Megan Louch, Benjamin Mundy, Ben Oliver, Heather Scott-Martin, Anne Smith, Kate Somerset How, Katie Warsop and Russell Wilcox.

Song List

Act I

  • “Overture” – Orchestra
  • “Maybe” – Annie and Orphans
  • “It’s the Hard Knock Life” – Annie and Orphans
  • “It’s the Hard Knock Life (Reprise)” – Orphans
  • “Tomorrow” – Annie
  • “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover” – Hooverville
  • “Little Girls” – Miss Hannigan
  • “Little Girls (Reprise)” – Miss Hannigan
  • “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” – Annie, Grace and Staff
  • “N.Y.C.” – Warbucks, Grace, Annie, Star-to-Be and Chorus
  • “N.Y.C. (Reprise)” / “Lullaby” – Warbucks
  • “Easy Street” – Rooster, Miss Hannigan and Lily
  • “You Won’t Be an Orphan for Long” – Grace and Warbucks
  • “Why Should I Change a Thing?” – Warbucks
  • “Maybe (Reprise)” – Annie

Act II

  • “Maybe (Reprise II)” – Annie
  • “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” – Bert Healy and the Boylan Sisters
  • “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (Reprise)” – Orphans
  • “Easy Street (Reprise)” – Rooster, Miss Hannigan and Lily
  • “Tomorrow (Cabinet Reprise)” – Annie, Roosevelt, Warbucks and Cabinet
  • “Tomorrow (Cabinet Reprise II)” – Roosevelt and the Cabinet
  • “Something Was Missing” – Warbucks
  • “Annie” – Grace and Staff
  • “I Don’t Need Anything But You” – Warbucks and Annie
  • “Maybe (Reprise III)” – Annie
  • “A New Deal for Christmas” – Warbucks, Grace, Annie, Roosevelt and Staff
  • “Tomorrow (Finale)” – Full Company

Show Lengths and Times

Annie officially opened at the Piccadilly Theatre London on June 5th 2017 and is booking until February 18th 2018.

Show running time is 2 hours 20 minutes, including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

Annie is suitable for all ages, but please note that children under the age of 5 will not be admitted into the theatre. All persons entering the theatre must have their own ticket.

Videos

Tickets

Tickets for Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre London are now on sale. Find tickets by using the search form at the top right of the page.

Reviews

Have you seen Annie? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Sovremennik Theatre Season

THESE PRODUCTIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED. YOU CANNOT BOOK TICKETS.

Moscow’s award-winning, critically acclaimed company Sovremennik Theatre return to the West End for a triple bill of limited performances. Reviving some of their most celebrated productions, Artistic Director Galina Volchek presents Three Comrades, Two for the Seesaw and Three Sisters, all of which will be performed in Russian with English subtitles.

An internationally renowned company, the Sovremennik Theatre are known for staging intense psychological dramas and bold contemporary plays, as well as Russian classics. Bringing their acclaimed season to London, the productions will collectively feature a cast and crew of over 100 people. Previously seen at the Noel Coward Theatre in 2011, the company return to London for a limited run from May 3rd-13th 2017.

Three Comrades

Set in Germany 1928, Three Comrades is adapted for the stage from Erich Maria Remarque’s novel of the same name, taking place at the height of global depression. As three men struggle to earn a living as mechanics, friendship seems to be the only shelter from the chaos surrounding them. When the disillusioned Robert Lohkamp meets a mysterious young woman, his destructive view on life slowly begins to change.

From the author of the critically acclaimed All Quiet on the Western Front, this is a classic tale of endurance, as Three Comrades portrays the great kindness and potential of human spirit.

Two for the Seesaw

Taking place in New York, Two for the Seesaw is Sovremennik Theatre’s compelling Russian twist on William Gibson’s poignant American drama. When a brooding Nebraska lawyer relocates to New York to escape his marriage, he embarks on a torrid, passionate affair with an eccentric dancer he meets at a party.

As the affair becomes more heated, their relationship comes under peril as their previous partners linger in the background and their own temperaments become clear.

Three Sisters

The Sovremennik Theatre round off their season with a revival of their celebrated version of Anton Chekhov’s classic Three Sisters, which received a Drama Desk Award and has played to audiences across the world.

This mesmerising production follows the well-known story of sisters Irina, Masha and Olga as they yearn for a meaning to their provincial life. As various guests, family members and lovers visit their home, unchanging events occur that will shape each of their futures.

Cast and Creative

Erich Maria Remarque’s Three Comrades, William Gibson’s Two for the Seesaw and Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters are all directed by Galina Volchek, Artistic Director and founding member of the Sovremennik Theatre.

Two for the Seesaw is performed by acclaimed Russian actress and humanitarian Chulpan Kahmatova and Kirill Safanov.

Show Lengths and Times

The Sovremennik Theatre Season opens at the Piccadilly Theatre London on May 3rd for a strictly limited run until May 13th 2017. Performances are at 7:15pm every day, excluding Sundays, with matinees on Saturday at 2pm.

Three Comrades runs from 3rd–6th May 2017.

Two for the Seesaw runs from 8th–9th May 2017.

Three Sisters runs from 11th-13th May 2017.

Show running times are yet to be confirmed and will vary per production.

Suitable for Children?

The Sovremennik Theatre Season may not be suitable for young children.

Tickets

Tickets for the Sovremennik Theatre Season at the Piccadilly Theatre London are not yet on sale. Check back here for availability.

Reviews

Have you seen any of the Sovremennik Theatre Season? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Jersey Boys

THIS PRODUCTION HAS NOW CLOSED. YOU CANNOT BOOK TICKETS.

jersey boys banner

timeout-110x80

star-rating-5.0

‘a genuine classic’

sunday-telegraph-110x80

star-rating-4.0

‘this production is in a class of its own’

the-daily-mail-110x80

star-rating-4.0

‘a proper, electric hit’

International smash-hit musical Jersey Boys continues to dazzle audiences at London’s Piccadilly Theatre, opening on March 14th 2014. After first opening at the Prince Edward Theatre to wide acclaim from audiences and critics alike in 2008, the all-singing Jersey Boys spectacular transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre, where it continues to play to packed-out audiences.

Seen by over 4 million people globally, Jersey Boys has achieved international acclaim, earning over 55 major awards worldwide. Following a Tony Award-winning premiere on Broadway in 2005, the musical transferred to London and earned an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Jersey Boys has reached Las Vegas, Chicago and Toronto, with its London residency proving to be hugely successful.

Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and their remarkable rise to stardom as they became one of the most successful bands in history. Told in four segments, the show charts the humble beginnings, rise and inevitable fall of the band, who went on to sell over 100 million records around the world, and who were eventually inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Jersey Boys is an honest portrayal of how four men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey managed to find a unique sound. The musical follows their triumphs, heartaches, headaches and relationships and is one of the most inspirational stories of any pop group. Of course, Jersey Boys features a songbook that spans the band’s entire career.

Cast and Creativejersey boys satellite

With a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, Jersey Boys is the ultimate jukebox musical, featuring several hits from the 60’s. Jersey Boys is directed by the prolific Des McAnuff, who has also directed Guys and Dolls and Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Howell Binkley and sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy.

Jersey Boys’ original London cast included Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli, Stephen Ashfield as Bob Gaudio and Glenn Carter as Tommy DeVito. A new 2016 cast has been announced, starring Matt Corner (We Will Rock You) as Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey (Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You) as Tommy DeVito and Nicola Brazil (Legally Blonde) as Mary Delgado. Declan Egan and Matt Hunt make their professional West End debuts as Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi.

Song List

Act I

  • “Ces soirees-la (Oh What a Night) – Paris, 2000” – French Rap Star Yannick and Backup Group
  • “Silhouettes” – Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, Nick DeVito and Frankie Valli
  • “You’re the Apple of My Eye” – Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Nick DeVito
  • “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” – Frankie Valli
  • “Earth Angel” – Tommy DeVito and Full Company
  • “A Sunday Kind of Love” – Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Nick’s Date
  • “My Mother’s Eyes” – Frankie Valli
  • “I Go Ape” – The Four Lovers
  • “(Who Wears) Short Shorts” – The Royal Teens
  • “I’m in the Mood for Love” / “Moody’s Mood for Love” – Frankie Valli
  • “Cry for Me” – Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi
  • “ An Angel Cried” – Hal Miller and The Rays
  • “I Still Care” – Miss Frankie Nolan and The Romans
  • “Trance” – Billy Dixon and The Topix
  • “Sherry” – The Four Seasons
  • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” – The Four Seasons
  • “Walk Like a Man” – The Four Seasons
  • “December. 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” – Bob Gaudio and Full Company
  • “My Boyfriend’s Back” – The Angels
  • “My Eyes Adored You” – Frankie Valli, Mary Delgado and The Four Seasons
  • “Dawn (Go Away)” – The Four Seasons
  • “Walk Like a Man (reprise)” – Full Company

Act II

  • “Big Man in Town” – The Four Seasons
  • “Beggin’” – The Four Seasons
  • “Stay” – Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli and Nick Massi
  • “Let’s Hang On! (To What We’ve Got)” – Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli
  • “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘bout Me)” – Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli and The New Seasons
  • “Bye Bye Baby” – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
  • “C’mon Marianne” – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
  • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – Frankie Valli
  • “Working My Way Back to You” – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
  • “Fallen Angel” – Frankie Valli
  • “Rag Doll” – The Four Seasons
  • “Who Loves You” – The Four Seasons and Full Company

Show Lengths and Times

Jersey Boys opened at the West End’s Prince Edward Theatre in 2008, before transferring to the Piccadilly Theatre in 2014, where it continues to play to sell-out audiences. Jersey Boys is set to close at the venue on Sunday 26th March 2017. Performances are at 7:30pm every day, excluding Mondays, with a matinees on Tuesday and Saturday at 3pm. An additional performance is at 5pm on Sunday.

Show running time is 2hrs and 30mins including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

Jersey Boys contains genuine New Jersey language which may not be suitable for young audiences, therefore parental guidance is advised.

Videos

Tickets

Tickets for Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre London are now on sale and you can book them above, by using the search form on the right of the page.

Reviews

Have you seen Jersey Boys? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Viva Forever

Viva Forever tickets

THIS SHOW IS NOW CLOSED. YOU CANNOT BOOK TICKETS.

 

Viva Forever Musical posts early closing notice. Last performance will now be 29th June 2013. 

Viva Forever, the Spice Girls musical, received its world premiere on 11 December 2012 at the Piccadilly Theatre. The Spice Girls are the most successful girl group of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide with hits such including “Say You’ll Be There,” “Spice Up Your Life,” and “Who Do You Think You Are.” They catapulted into the charts with their debut single “Wannabe” in 1996, and their reunion tour in 2007 grossed more than $100 million. Judy Craymer, the producer behind the mega-hit Mamma Mia!, is the producer of Viva Forever. After successful using ABBA’s songs to tell an completely unique story, Viva Forever follows the same format with a script by Jennifer Saunders, most famous for her work on the hit sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. The plotline follows a young girl trying out for an X Factor-style reality show, and stays true to the Spice Girls theme of “girl power.”

Synopsis and Song List: 

The show opens the day after Viva and her friends have successfully entered a TV talent competition. The group progress to the final rounds, but Viva is selected on her own, leaving her with a tough decision to make – will she stay with her group of friends or will she chase her dreams? The show is set in contemporary London and Spain, and deals with the relationship between mother and daughter. This heart-warming show provides plenty of laughs, along with poignant moments. A whole variety of Spice Girls songs will come together to tell this tale, including the following:

Wannabe
Too Much of Something
Tell Me Why
Who Do You Think You Are? 
Time Goes By
Look at Me
Spice Up Your Life 
Denying 
Do it 
Let Love Lead the Way
Move Over 
I Turn To You 
Headlines 
Say You’ll Be There 
2 Become 1

Cast and Creative

Hannah John-Kamen makes her West End debut as Viva, starring alongside theatre veteran Sally Ann Triplett as Viva’s mother Lauren. Triplett’s many theatre credits include Mamma Mia!, Anything Goes, and Lend Me a Tenor. Sally Dexter, Bill Ward, and Tamara Wall appear as the three talent show judges, while Siobhan Athwell, Lucy Phelps, and Dominique Provost-Chalkley portray the other members of the girl group.Viva Forever is written by Jennifer Saunders, the award-winning writer behind the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. It is directed by Paul Garrington, and produced by Judy Craymer, who created Mamma Mia!.

Show Length and Times

Monday: 7:30pm
Tuesday: 7:30pm
Wednesday: 3pm and 7:30pm
Thursday: 7:30pm
Friday: 5pm and 8:30pm
Saturday: 3pm and 7:30pm
No performances on Sundays

The running time is 2 hours 30 minutes including one 15 minute interval. 7:30pm shows finish at 10pm, 8:30pm shows finish at 11pm, 3pm shows finish at 5:30pm, and 5pm shows finish at 7:30pm.

Have a look at our videos from the exclusive press launch, in which all 5 Spice Girls attended:

Official Tickets

Viva Forever tickets can be purchased by using the search form at the top right-hand corner of this page.

Ghost the Musical

Ghost the Musical Poster

THIS SHOW IS CLOSED. YOU CAN NOT BOOK TICKETS.

Ghost the Musical is the brand new West End sensation that is currently causing a buzz in London’s media for its innovative take on the Oscar Award-winning film of the same name. The cult romantic film of the 1990s has been adapted for the stage by a team of renowned theatre professionals and has started running at the Piccadilly Theatre to expectant audiences and fans of the original film. The musical focuses on the relationship between Sam and Molly, a young professional couple living in New York who appear to have it all, including each other. Unfortunately, things are not as perfect as they seem and one night Sam is brutally murdered on the streets when walking back to the pair’s apartment, leaving a distraught Molly behind. However although Sam is dead his spirit remains trapped in a twilight realm between the present and the afterlife, wandering the streets of New York and unable to communicate with Molly, who cannot see or hear him. Eventually he runs into a fraudulent psychic called Oda Mae Brown, who is more perturbed than anyone to realise that she can hear the voice of Sam convincing her to help him talk to Molly, whom he has now realised faces terrible danger that only he can save her from…

Sam and Molly in Ghost the MusicalFresh from a six-week run in the North of England at the Manchester Opera House, Ghost the Musical boasts a breathtaking array of special effects to rival other spectacular West End shows such as Wicked, with the production team having worked with illusionists and set designers to depict the spirit realm in ways that will leave audiences scratching their heads and amazed! The set is made up of a series of huge LED screens that effortlessly recreate the bustle of a New York street or have Wall Street numbers cascading down them, and the show includes all the much-loved moments from the original film including the famous potter’s wheel scene. In addition, music is by the Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard and ex-Eurythmic Dave Stewart, who have created a score of moving power ballads that perfectly encapsulate the couple’s anguish. This heartfelt extravaganza is sure to strike a chord with romantics everywhere, as Sam and Molly set out to prove that there are some kinds of love that can endure through any barrier, including that between life and death.

If you would like to experience the show’s unique blend of glittering spectacle and heartfelt emotion for yourself, you can find information on how to book tickets for the Piccadilly Theatre production on our tickets page and details of where to book the best seats in our seating guide.

Cast Information

The main cast members of Ghost the Musical feature a mixture of musical professionals and new additions to the West End stage. Ex-Coronation Street actor and singer Richard Fleeshman is recreating Patrick Swayze’s role of Sam, and Broadway actress Caissie Levy will be joining him as the other half of the star-crossed couple in the role of Molly. Sharon D. Clarke is an Olivier Award-nominated actress with an impressive musical CV, and she will be bringing the character of psychic Oda Mae Brown to life on the stage. Finally, Andrew Langtree is an experienced West End professional who will be taking the role of Sam’s colleague Carl.

Show Lengths and Times

Ghost the Musical opened on the 24th June 2011 at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, and is currently booking tickets until the 28th January 2012. Performances take place every night between Monday and Saturday at 7.30pm, with a matinee show every Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. There are no performances on Sunday. The running time for the musical is 2 hours and 30 minutes with one interval.

Our Review

With the influx of blockbuster Hollywood films that have been turned into musicals filling the West End in recent years, including stage adaptations of classics such as Dirty Dancing, Singin’ In The Rain and Billy Elliot, it came as little surprise when another critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning movie nestled into London’s Theatreland in 2011. With a book written by Bruce Joel Rubin who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1991, the show is very similar to the 1990 movie in terms of script, and follows couple Molly and Sam, the latter of who is murdered, becoming captured between this world and the next. Drama and tragedy soon follow as Sam follows his former lover, only to discover that she is in danger. Unable to contact the living world, he reaches out to a medium, Oda Mae Brown, to try to warn Molly.

Oda Mae Brown was played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie, winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role. Likewise in this stage adaptation, Sharon D. Clarke who originated the role as the eccentric psychic, has been nominated for Best Performance in a Supporting Role at the 2012 Olivier Awards. Injecting the much-needed influx of humour into Ghost the Musical, Clarke’s vocal ability, wild costumes and entertaining lines make her stand out, just as Whoopi did in the film, although her last solo number ‘I’m Outta Here’ was possibly the weakest song in the show, inviting tackiness onto the stage for a good 5 minutes more than what was needed to cheer up the audience.

The two central characters, Sam and Molly, are performed by Mark Evans and Siobhan Dillon, respectively. As the originating actors in the roles have taken their talents across the Atlantic to star in the Broadway version of the musical, it seems that the casting team have hired those who closely resemble them. The new Molly again has long, blonde locks, a far cry from the dark crop that Demi Moore sported in the movie which probably wouldn’t have translated on the stage so well, especially for those watching at the back of the theatre where tiny details make a huge difference and a girl in dungarees and boy-short hair may have looked, well, like a boy. Mark Evans is eerily similar to Richard Fleeshman, originator of the role, in looks, but both Evans and Dillon give brilliant performances, adding raw emotion and anguish to their impressive vocals, enabling the audience to feel some of the pain that their characters are experiencing.

The music was something I had been looking forward to hearing, as it was written by Eurythmic star Dave Stewart along with Glen Ballard – brought to recognition for co-writing the Michael Jackson song Man In The Mirror. Overall I was impressed and enjoyed songs such as Here Right Now and I Had a Life, although I could hear a tinge of 80s rock influence in much of the music, unsurprising considering its writers. The classic Unchained Melody, featured in an iconic part of the movie, is also heard more than once in the stage adaptation, which is sure to satisfy lovers of the movie.

Special effects played a big part in Ghost, and are by Magic Circle member Paul Kieve, who was the illusionist for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. With actors disappearing through doors, entering and leaving the stage in the blink of an eye and soaring in slow-motion to the ceiling of a make-shift subway carriage, I was incredibly impressed with how well it was done. Although my seat was a little too far towards the back, I wouldn’t have wanted to be right at the front either, for fear that these special effect’s secrets would be revealed!

As much as Ghost the Musical was uplifting, emotional and fantastic to watch, there were unfortunately some scenes and ideas which dampened on the show, making it hard to praise every aspect. A tap-dancing ghost enters soon after Sam has died to cheer him up and welcomes him to the ghostly world he is now a part of, yet this happens so soon after that it takes away from the poignancy of this moment, shifting attention away from the murdered young man to an older man who was once part of a performing duo. I felt that it made light of this situation as Sam lay in a hospital bed, and the tackiness of his little tap-dancing routine was not welcome in my eyes. Maybe producers felt that the audience would need to see a light-hearted scene not even five seconds after the emotional climax as Sam dies, but I felt that it was too soon and didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the show.

Ghost the Musical has transferred well onto the stage, and twenty two years after the movie opened, it can be said that the special effects are better in the musical! With a good score, brilliant performances by the leading cast and interesting scenery – mostly done with digital screens – this strange storyline of a man trapped between Earth and Heaven is captivating, passionate, funny and emotional, and you will surely be in high spirits when walking out of the Piccadilly Theatre, back into the living world…

Recommended: Yes, for those who are fans of the movie or for those who love to see impressive visual effects.

Where I sat: Towards the back of the Stalls, row R seat 15. I was directly in the centre of the auditorium but I was a little too far back and felt quite cut-off from the action on stage at times. The Royal Circle overhung over this part of the Stalls and I couldn’t see the top of the stage, though this wasn’t too much of a problem. I think that seats about 7 rows in front of mine would have been perfect.

Alice Bzowska – 27/03/2012

Critics’ Reviews

Guardian logo“Sharon D Clarke has an overwhelming personality and a richly expressive voice.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian

 

 

Evening Standard“With superb special effects and engaging performances, Matthew Warchus’s production certainly has plenty of dazzle.”
Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard

 

The Telegraph“It is a highly entertaining musical that looks set to keep audiences laughing, gasping and sniffing back tears for a long time to come.”
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph

 

The Independent“Paul Kieve’s illusions thrill as our hero, say, melts into thin air…it’s all seamlessly inventive and full of synaesthetic pleasures.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent

 

Videos

If you want to get a taste of how Ghost the Musical looks on stage, be sure to check out the Ghost-related videos we’ve picked out in the section below!

The official trailer for the London production:

[field name=video]

 

Audience reactions after the show at the Piccadilly Theatre:

[field name=video2]

 

The stars of the musical perform Here Right Now at Abbey Road Studios:

[field name=video3]

Add Your Review!

Have you seen Ghost the Musical at London’s Piccadilly Theatre since it opened in May 2011? Do you agree with the critics’ reviews or did the stage adaptation not live up to the movie version? Please add your review in the box below to help fellow theatregoers in deciding if Ghost the Musical is for them!