There were two murderers in Ghost The Musical at The Bristol Hippodrome tonight.
The first was Willie Lopez and the second Sarah Harding, who killed every song she attempted.
And she was not alone. Andy Moss as Sam was marginally better, though on occasion sang as if he was having an attack of irritable bowel syndrome.
Where were the amazing tricks that successfully brought the movie off the screen and on stage? The underground scene was a scaled back mess. No more smashed vending machine. No more supernatural magic. The walking through the door scene replaced by trickery that happened off set. I vaguely recall a clever effect creating a soul leaving a body. Gone. The projections and visuals that made the original touring show so successful are completely removed but nothing dynamic has replaced it. What is this? Just awful theatre or swinging cuts?
Instead, we are left with the talent of the actors and two lead performers who just didn’t cut it. And not only does Sarah Harding not cut it, she sounded weak, out of tune and was just a shambles all the way through. I’ve never seen her or heard her in anything before and will carefully check casting in future to make sure I never make the same mistake twice.
But what I now consider to be The Worst Show I Have Ever Seen is not all down to diabolical casting. Every member of the creative team should hang their heads in shame at this utter monstrosity.
All of this is all deeply unfair on Jacqui Dubois, who shone in every scene she was in as Oda Mae Brown. Also not to forget Tarisha Rommick as Louise and Simbi Akande as Clara, her siblings. And why was that? Oh perhaps it’s because they are professional musical theatre actors with fantastic voices and a pedigree biography. Why are shows being ruined by having ‘famous’ names taking lead roles? It completely ruined a piece of theatre I was actually looking forward to.
What on earth happened to the inventive, entertaining and touching show that played at the theatre in 2013? Please bring that one back and dump this attempt.
Ghost The Musical is at The Bristol Hippodrome from Monday 12 until Saturday 17 September