The familiar strains of Unchained Melody opens this famous musical even before curtain up as it’s in the overture. I cannot identify any others but then again these are original songs in a new production and reimagined from the original book and double Oscar winning movie.
The star is of course Sarah Harding known for her groundbreaking career in Girls Aloud and I haven’t seen her since she opened HMV records in the Mercat some years ago but even in those days the spotlight was on Cheryl Cole (as she was then). Andy Moss (pictured left) from Hollyoaks plays her partner and they share the stage for most of the performance but Sarah gets the big songs. Rightfully so as she can handle those big numbers as well as the tender love odes.
Following the movie script Sam (Andy Moss) is murdered early on and Molly (Sarah) is naturally grief stricken. Sam returns as a ghost though and only communicates through Oda Mae, a medium played delightfully by Jacqui Dubois. Additionally there are some well choreographed dance numbers with a large company and the scenes change quickly from Molly’s flat in Brooklyn to the office and to the subway. Nothing elaborate though with obvious flats and certainly nothing spectacular. That aside the songs are great and I could have listened to Unchanged Melody for an extended reprise. Touching at times there was never going to be a happy ending but the reimagining worked well with the mighty backing of the Bill Kenwright organisation.
Edinburgh Playhouse till Nov 26