West End regular Sharon D Clarke will star as a phoney psychic in the new stage musical adaptation of the 1990 blockbuster film Ghost, which has confirmed it will open in the West End in June 2011.
Ghost The Musical, which has music and lyrics by the Eurythmics’s Dave Stewart and Grammy Award-winner Glen Ballard, is to open at the Piccadilly theatre on 22 June following its premiere in Manchester, and is initially booking to 28 January 2012.
Adapted for the stage by the writer of the original film, Bruce Joel Rubin, Ghost The Musical centres on Sam, who, after being murdered in the street, finds himself trapped as a ghost between this world and the next. He tries to communicate with girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic in the hope of saving her from his murderer. The 1990 film, which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, won two Oscars and propelled The Righteous Brothers’s Unchained Melody – which accompanied the famous potter’s wheel scene – to number one in the UK charts.
Clarke, who plays the role occupied by Goldberg in the film, has appeared in the West End in musicals Chicago, We Will Rock You and The Lion King, as well as Once On This Island at Hackney Empire. She remains well known for her role as Lola in hospital television drama Holby City. Further casting is yet to be announced.
In Stewart and Ballard, Ghost The Musical has a multi-award-winning composing duo. Along with Eurythmics partner Annie Lennox, Stewart received a Lifetime Achievement Brit Award in 1999 in honour of a career that includes the hit songs Who’s That Girl?, Would I Lie To You? and Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). He has also collaborated with Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, No Doubt, Tom Petty and Celine Dion. Ballard’s enormously successful songwriting career includes working with Alanis Morissette on her Jagged Little Pill album and with artists including Michael Jackson, Lennox, Josh Groban, Idina Menzel and No Doubt. He has also written music for films including Polar Express, Charlotte’s Web, Hannah Montana and Matrix: Reloaded.
Ghost The Musical is directed by Matthew Warchus, whose recent West End credits include Deathtrap, God Of Carnage, La Bête and The Lord Of The Rings, and features illusions by magician Paul Kieve.
Currently occupying the Piccadilly theatre is Grease, which yesterday confirmed it will close at the venue on 30 April.