Review: Ghost The Musical, Sunderland Empire

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THE future of theatre meets the age-old story of true love for this stage experience which will have you gripped from the get-go.

Technology-wise, this show is light years ahead of its competitors and, at times, it feels as though you’re in an IMax theatre as the audience is hurtled through the 3D streets of New York and into the lives of lovers Sam and Molly.

But despite the spectacle of spectres walking through doors and a train scene that looks like an edgy music video, the show manages to maintain a classic love story at its core.

It’s a story that’s familiar to millions thanks to the hit 1990 film and the cast of the musical version do a sterling job of keeping the plot fresh.

They’re helped along the way by music and lyrics by Mackem musician Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.

Of course, everyone was waiting for the pivotal pottery wheel scene with the Righteous Brothers - one of cinema’s most iconic moments. But, the otherwise modern music helps to add a new dimension to a familiar story.

The musical’s Molly Rebecca Trehearn’s voice is achingly beautiful and her simply soulful performance of With You, an ode to her late boyfriend and their lost love, almost had me reaching for the tissues - no mean feat.

Her Sam is played by Stewart Clarke who gives a dashing and intense performance as a murder victim in limbo between heaven and hell. Though his faux American accent jarred a little.

Light relief comes from Wendy Mae Brown who, with a name like that, was born to play Oda Mae Brown. She shines as the larger-than-life psychic who unites the star-crossed lovers and has a stage presence that had me transfixed. A haunting show, even after the curtain falls.

•Ghost The Musical runs at the Sunderland Empire until December 7.