The Strode College Theatre Company brought all the romance and magic of this classic love story to life with their latest musical production, ‘GHOST – The Musical’. From the opening bars from the live band, skilfully headed up by musical director, Matt Holmes, and performed by Strode College students and staff, the show was brimming with energy, enthusiasm and young talent.
The stunning music, a catchy all-new score written by multi Brit-award winner Dave Stewart and Grammy award winning Glen Ballard, got the audience toe-tapping from the outset and the script, written by Bruce Joel Rubin, was based on his Oscar-winning 1990 film.
The plot centres on lovers Sam and Molly, who are attacked as they are returning to their apartment. When Sam dies he becomes caught between the real world and the next. A medium, Oda Mae Brown, helps Sam get in touch with Molly so he can warn her that she is in danger.
Strode student Greg Maple, who played Sam, portrayed his confusion, frustration and ultimately his determination, confidently throughout the show. There were some great special effects in his performance, such as when Sam dies and his ‘ghost’ leaves his physical body, and when he first discovered he could walk through doors. (Studying Performing Arts, from Martock, and formerly at Stanchester Academy.)
Emily Roberts delivered a very convincing performance as Molly, complimenting her strong acting skills with excellent vocals throughout, especially for the emotional solo ballad ‘With You’. (Studying A levels, from Yeovil, and formerly at Westfield Academy.)
Danni Gore gave the audience a real treat with her charismatic Oda Mae, displaying a strong vocal and some lively comic moments as the ‘phoney’ medium. (Studying Performing Arts, from Norton Sub Hamdon, and formerly at Stanchester Academy.)
Ryan Billing oozed betrayal and intrigue in his role as Sam’s ‘friend’ Carl. (Studying Broadcast Media, from Shepton Mallet, and formerly at Whitstone School.)
Shane Bustos delivered an impassioned, spine-tinglingly intense interpretation of the subway ghost, especially when he showed Sam how to move objects with the power of pent up passion during the rap number ‘Focus’. (Studying Performing Arts, from Street, and formerly at Crispin School.)
The hospital ghost, played impressively by Noah Chant, was an effortless joy to watch, especially when he delivered the musical number ‘You Gotta Let Go Now’. (Studying Performing Arts, from Stoke Sub Hambdon, and formerly at Stanchester Academy.)
The enthusiasm of the entire cast was infectious, dance numbers were polished and slick, and the ensemble singing was strong and joyful. All the other smaller roles were played convincingly well, with passion and commitment.
Charmaine Bray, Performing Arts teacher and director of the show, said: “We have really enjoyed working on a more contemporary show this year, and there are lots of interesting twists in the stage production of ‘GHOST – the Musical’ that don’t occur in the film. The students have especially enjoyed the challenge of creating some of the special effects.”
The Strode College Theatre Company is part of the programme of enrichment activities and includes students from all areas of the college.