As the adaptation of the infamous film from 1990 that would go on to change the images associated with pottery for evermore, Ghost certainly has a charismatic nostalgia to live up to. As the loved-up Molly and Sam move into a new apartment, it seems that their life together is just starting. But tragedy strikes as Sam is shot dead in the street, leaving Molly all alone. But Sam – trapped between this world and the next – discovers that perhaps his death was not coincidental, and that Molly is in danger. With the help of a (apparently not-so) fake psychic, Sam must change the course of the living world in order to facilitate his own entry into the next.
Nick Richings' lighting design is unrestricted in its opportunity to transcend the world we are used to, but unfortunately relies on incongruous gimmicks to represent the blur between life and death. A mirage of rippling hues unintentionally seems to locate the scenes of New York underwater, and the decision to illuminate the skyline upstage with crass neon lights is reminiscent of a school disco.
Choreography by Alistair David is clearly intended to be modern – taking the mould of abstract ensemble movements that aim to contextualise the sappiness of the narrative in urban, grittier peripheries. In the blur of manual set changes required by a touring production, however, it soon becomes out of place – not dissimilar to intentionally ‘edgy’ stereotypes encompassing teenage acting showcases.
Nevertheless, there are strong individual performances from Rebekah Lowing’s Molly, who shines past the confines of the production design and holds the inconsistencies of tone together with the sheer power of her voice. Niall Sheehy as Sam is equally impressive, bringing a sentimentality to a character with whom we have had no time to connect, rendering his death a tragedy.
With an enjoyable – if perhaps indistinguishable – gentle rock soundtrack from Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard to round everything off, the production makes for a gentle and pleasant evening, but whether or not it will live on beyond its expiration as strongly as its protagonists is yet to be decided.
Ghost runs at the Festival Theatre until Saturday 2nd March 2019.