Supernatural romance set to sparkle on stage
Ghost, the 1990 romantic-cum-supernatural drama starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, was a massive box-office success: and, looking back over 20 years later it's easy to see why.
The story, about the ghost of a murdered young man who teams up with a psychic medium in order to communicate with his bereaved fiancée, is poignant and affecting.
Just as importantly, it allows for plenty of stunning supernatural trickery – walking through doors, levitating pennies, not to mention that famous scene involving a potter's wheel. All of this makes for brilliant and beautiful cinema – but could a similar level of visual trickery be achieved on stage?
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Well, if anyone can do it, Paul Kieve can. Kieve is a celebrated theatre and cinema illusionist who has provided visual magic for a host of stage and screen hits including, most illustriously, the entire Harry Potter film series. No wonder, then, that Kieve's wealth of expertise has been called on to infuse the current tour of Ghost: the Musical with its essential supernatural quality.
The musical arrives at Bristol Hippodrome next week after an acclaimed West End run. And, fans of the film will be relieved to hear, it follows closely the plot of its screen predecessor.
We're promised a rollercoaster ride of romance and comedy with some dazzling state-of-the-art staging. The Tony Award-winning Matthew Warchus, known for West End versions of Roald Dahl's Matilda and Yasmina Reza's Art, directs, while the show features music and lyrics by the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart.
Paul was asked on board by Warchus, the two having collaborated on ten projects over the past two decades including Matilda, a 2007 stage show of Lord of the Rings and Our House, the Madness-themed musical. "Matthew and I go back a long way," Paul tells us. "I even made his wife vanish in The Winter's Tale! He sat down with me a few years ago and told me that he had been asked to do a stage show of Ghost and was really drawn to the idea. And he wanted me to be involved right from the start of the show's conception."
All of which suited Paul down to the ground. "The very first time I worked with Matthew I told him, 'If you want really good magic in the show, you've got to have it in there from the beginning'."