Dave Stewart: I fell in love with the story all over again

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Katy Wheeler speaks to Sunderland’s biggest music export about why his tunes will be ringing out around the Empire this winter.

Earlier this month, the Sunderland Empire announced that the show would run on Wearside with music penned by Mackem musician Dave.

The Eurythmics star, who grew up in Barnes, said: “I was approached by the producers to see if I would be interested in writing the music and songs for Ghost The Musical.

“I asked to meet the writer (who also wrote the Academy Award winning screen play of the movie) so we all met up and I fell in love with the story again - the idea that every moment counts only here and now and that it’s so important to let people you love know it as life is so impermanent.

“I brought in my great friend Glen Ballard to work on it together and we spent about five years in total getting it right. Every show I’ve been to of Ghost in Manchester Broadway or The West End in London the audience have given a standing ovation at the end and there are lots of tears during and lots of laughter too.”

The former Bede Grammar School pupil added: “Paul Kieve created incredible illusions and Matthew Warchus, of course, is a masterful director. I’m sure the Sunderland crowd will love it.”

The show, based on the 1990 film which starred Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg, will run for two weeks on Wearside when it opens at the Empire in November.

Audiences at the show will get to see the musical’s theatrical interpretation of the iconic pottery wheel scene among others.

Oscar-winning Bruce Joel Rubin adapted his original screenplay for the stage production, which features hit songs including Unchained Melody, after winning an Academy Award for the movie.

The musical, which opened in London in 2011, has been seen by more than half a million people and has been nominated for five Olivier Awards and three Tony Awards.

It tells the story of Sam, who has been killed but is then trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and is trying to communicate with girlfriend Molly through a hitherto phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his ruthless murderer.

The musical’s arrival in Sunderland later in the year will be the first time the show has been performed in the North East. It stars Keisha Atwell, Wendy Mae Brown and Stewart Clarke.

Twitter: @sunechokaty