Ghost the musical postponed – ‘It’s a very complicated business’

The Herald Sun reported this week that Ghost the musical, originally set to make its Australian debut next year, has been postponed following poor performance overseas.

Molly Jensen (Cassie Levy) in Ghost the Musical, photo credit Sean Ebsworth Barnes
Cassie Levy originated the role of Molly Jensen in Ghost the Musical. Image by Sean Ebsworth Barnes

The musical, based on the hit 1990 movie starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, closed on Broadway earlier this month with a loss of $15 million. Ghost‘s original run on London’s West End is also set to close ahead of schedule, and will shutter in October.

Last November, Ghost was announced to play in Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre in August 2013. At the launch, the Victorian Minster for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher, celebrated the advantages of bringing a new show to an Australian city.

“Securing the premiere seasons of major theatre productions helps to reinforce Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities, and provides employment and investment opportunities,” she said.

Producer Louise Withers, who announced the postponement, insists she has every intention of still bringing the show to Australia.

“It’s always disappointing when there is a postponement like this but it’s a very complicated business.”

The complication in this case involves the ground-breaking set projection and illusions created by Paul Kieve. Famously technologically intricate, the Australian premiere of Ghost was set to use the original set from the London run, but will now need to be re-configured for Australian audiences.

“It will take too long to transport [the set] in Australia where the market has to be reduced, based on the shorter seasons the show has had in the UK and the US,” Withers explained.

There have been no new dates announced as of yet. Withers noted that there is intense competition for venues around Australia and that securing new dates at this stage would be difficult.

Read Herald Sun article here

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

3 thoughts on “Ghost the musical postponed – ‘It’s a very complicated business’

  • Having seen the show in London last year, I am very concerned about the prospect of a downgraded set/downgraded technology because, honestly, that was really all it had going for it. The soundtrack is really very… so so and if it hadn’t been for the amazing effects (okay, and Oda Mae Brown who is a brilliant character who gives the show a welcome injection of life, no pun intended) I would have walked out really disappointed (and bored!) with the show. It’s the special effects that make the show, without them… just stay at home and watch the DVD. I don’t mean to be negative, I am really glad when shows like this are brought over to us and I want it to keep going, but if you are going to compromise on the set and effects you may as well pull the whole thing, because it’s just going to be O&G all over again.

    • Completely agree with you Lexie. I love it when shows come over to us but I dont feel we really lose out if this one doesnt come over. As you said, the effects were what made it. I thought the songs weren’t amazing and the cast was quite disappointing …

  • I saw Ghost on Broadyway about 3 months ago and thought it was quite good. It was carried by outstanding performers and some booming ballads. I agree with Lexie, it did rely on special effects – mostly digital – and a downgrade in budget for a Melbourne season would really hurt the production. All these ‘movies converted to shows’ are not working (al la Officer & a Gentleman, Ghost, Spiderman Turn off the Dark)… there is nothing like the classic made for theatre production.


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