A sparkling night out at the theatre

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Transferring a film classic to the stage can be a tricky business.

The iconic Ghost, of Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore fame, has made such a journey and the musical version has reached Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall as part of the national tour.

The transition was not easy and the early Broadway versions attracted mixed reviews. So how does the current offering stand up?

That its success is virtually guaranteed is evident from a packed auditorium, with a talented cast rewarded with acclaim.

Stewart Clarke (Sam), Rebecca Trehearn (Molly), a particularly good David Roberts (Carl) and the appropriately named Wendy Mae Brown (Oda Mae Brown) in a superb recreation of the Whoopi Goldberg role, fully justify such applause.

The book sticks pretty close to the film script and the 15 songs – including Unchained Melody - add to the emotion.

But it is the dazzling special effects which stand out.

New York’s brashness, Sam and Molly’s Brooklyn apartment, the corporate jungle in which Carl is desperately trying to launder money and Oda Mae’s psychic readings are wholly believable.

#Scenes change at an astonishing pace and there are many good moments.

For example, the confrontations between Sam and the subway ghost (Stevie Hutchinson) on the train and at the subway station are quite breathtaking, as are the scenes in which Willie Lopez (Ivan De Freitas) and Carl meet their demise.

Willie’s incomprehension as he is attacked by Sam in the lead-up to his death and Carl’s mounting panic as he realises the cash has gone are particularly well done.

And, of course, there are those moments of great poignancy, involving both Sam and Molly.

Sometimes the emotion of the love story is lost amidst the gadgetry but, overall, this is a fine film-to-stage adaptation.

Not, perhaps, one of the great musicals but a sparkling and entertaining evening in which the special effects will linger in the mind.

Ghost the Musical is at the Royal Concert Hall until Saturday August 24.