Ghost – The Gala

A Night of Stars and Spirits…

It’s a hard life having the hottest ticket in town but I made sure I enjoyed every minute of it as I mingled with the cream of Manchester last night at the GALA Premiere of GHOST The Musical at the Opera House.

The show, based on the iconic 90s film, has already been running for 2 of its 7 weeks stint in our fine city before it transfers to the West End although this was the first official opening evening everyone had been waiting for; from VIPs, celebs, press and the ‘showbiz girl about town’…me!

GHOST The Musical stars former Corrie heart-throb Richard Fleeshman as Sam Wheat, played in the movie by Patrick Swayze and Canadian musical theatre actress Caissie Levy in the role of Molly, the part created on screen by Demi Moore.

For those of you not in the know about the plot (and how very dare you not to have seen the timeless classic), GHOST is a fantasy about the power of love; where the lead character 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 movie scored a handful of Oscars back in the day, and from the standing ovation the show received from the audience last night, it looks set to see the same level of success in the theatre world. I’ve already got a bet on that it wins at least 3 Oliviers next year! (See my review)

After the curtain came down I joined a select few and headed across the road to the VIP Aftershow Party held at the Radisson Edwardian where I was on a mission to get the lowdown on what the celebs thought of the ground-breaking musical and meet some of the cast.

It was a fitting venue for the celebration as the Radisson is set on the site of the Free Trade Hall; which has been home to music, culture and the spirit of Manchester for over 150 years and the hotel has also come onboard in support of GHOST as one of its official sponsors. A fabulous affair from start to finish, us lucky guests were treated to a champagne reception, a feast of mini bowls of Chilli Con Carne, Chicken Tikka and Vegetable Lasagne, with eye popping profiterole pyramids for dessert.

Everywhere I looked there were stars from world of soap, including Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. I chatted to the lovely Craig Gazey (aka Corrie’s hapless Graeme Proctor) who told me GHOST was ‘the best musical I’ve ever seen’ and that his favourite part was the Subway Scene when all the special effects came into full force.

Manchester’s music diva Rowetta was on fine form, looking amazing in a fabulous little red number. The former ‘Happy Mondays’ backing singer and X Factor finalist confided that she thought Richard Fleeshman looked very handsome on and off stage- a sentiment I had to agree with.

Talking of the man in question, it was definitely his night-a Manchester lad on home turf taking on the lead role in the most anticipated show of 2011, life doesn’t get much better than this for Richard Fleeshman surely? He was certainly overwhelmed at the enormity of the occasion but remained surprisingly humble when I managed to grab a quick chat with him. The talented Northerner showed that success was yet to go to his head, choosing to praise his co-star Caissie Levy and composers Glen Ballard and Eurythmics Dave Stewart instead, rather than revel in his own musical prowess-(bless him). More than anything though, it was clear Richard was chuffed at the turnout from his celeb mates and the reaction of his actor parents-Sue Jenkins and David Fleeshman whose huge grins showed they were the proudest parents in town!

Other celebs I bumped into on the night were; Coleen Nolan fresh from her Loose Women departure  looking very trim indeed, Wild at Heart star Lucy-Jo Hudson who confided she was about to change hair colour from brunette to blonde (watch this space) and Coronation St new boy, former Hollyoaks hunk Chris Fountain who spent most of the evening wrapped around his gorgeous girlfriend Jessica Derrick.

Also read our review of GHOST

Visit the official website here for tickets.

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