Ghost the Musical to Play Manchester's Opera House Prior to London; Matthew Warchus to Direct

News   Ghost the Musical to Play Manchester's Opera House Prior to London; Matthew Warchus to Direct
Ghost The Musical, a new stage version of the Academy Award-winning 1990 film of the same name with a book by Bruce Joel Rubin, who will adapt his original screenplay for the film, and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glenn Ballard, has announced dates for its pre-West End run at Manchester's Opera House. It will begin performances there March 28, for a limited seven-week season through May 14.

Matthew Warchus
Matthew Warchus Photo by Aubrey Reuben

A West End opening, at a theatre to be announced, is to follow in summer 2011. The production is being directed by Matthew Warchus, currently represented in the West End by his Broadway-bound production of La Bête, who has previously directed The Norman Conquests, God of Carnage, Boeing-Boeing, Art and True West in productions that have been seen on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, he has directed the stage version of The Lord of the Rings (Toronto and London), and the musicals Tell Me on a Sunday andOur House in the West End, as well as working extensively for the National Theatre, RSC and English National Opera.

Ghost the Musical, based on the Paramount Pictures film, features new music and lyrics as well as the classic "Unchained Melody." It is described in press materials as "a timeless fantasy about the power of love," in which Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with his girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer.

The original 1990 film starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker. Bruce Joel Rubin's script won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and Whoopi Goldberg won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film's iconic love scene at a potter's wheel was famously performed to The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody."

Dave Stewart is best known for his long-time musical partnership with Annie Lennox in the band Eurythmics. In 1999 they were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brit Awards having sold over 75 million albums with hits like "Here Comes The Rain Again," "Who's That Girl," "Would I Lie To You," "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" (with Aretha Franklin) and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

Ballard, a six-time Grammy Award winner, has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, and has worked with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Van Halen, Aerosmith and Michael Jackson as producer and arranger. One of his biggest successes involved chart-topping, multi-platinum album "Jagged Little Pill" (33 million worldwide, four Grammys –including Album of the Year), which Ballard co-wrote and produced for Alanis Morissette, and was named Best Album of the Decade (1990s) by Billboard magazine. Ballard has most recently had success writing hit songs for film, including the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated "Believe" for "Polar Express," "Ordinary Miracle" for "Charlotte’s Web," and "A Hero Comes Home" for "Beowulf." Bruce Joel Rubin won an Academy Award for his original screenplay for "Ghost." He has written numerous other screenplays including "Jacob’s Ladder," "Deep Impact," "Stuart Little 2," "The Last Mimzy" and, most recently, "The Time Traveller’s Wife."

Set and costumes designs are by Rob Howell, musical supervision and arrangements by Christopher Nightingale, illusions are by Paul Kieve, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Simon Baker.

Public booking for the Manchester season will open Sept. 10. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 847 2295, or visit

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