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Confidential meets Dave Stewart

Eurythmics legend hits Manchester with Ghost: The Musical

Published on November 22nd 2010.

Confidential meets Dave Stewart

One half of the Eurythmics and all-round musical legend, Dave Stewart, was in town to launch his latest venture, Ghost the Musical, ahead of its world premiere run at the Opera House in Spring 2011. Catherine May caught up with him.

CM: At what stage did you get on board with the idea to turn the film into a musical?

DS: Before even Matthew Warchus, the director, was on board, they approached me and the two producers to see if I’d be interested in writing it. I asked to meet the writer of the script, Bruce Joel Rubin, and I asked if my friend Glen (Ballard –writer of ‘Man in the Mirror’ and hundreds of other hits) could be involved too and this became an instant great routine. And then Matthew came on board and the team was really solid.

CM: How long has the process taken?

DS: It takes a long time doing things like this – it’s been two or three years. I remember Tim Burton saying it took ten years to get Batman going and then suddenly became a success. It’s a lot of hard work.

CM: Did you ever have any reservations about getting involved as it’s not as rock and roll as some of your previous work?

DS: Not really because I have written lots of different kinds of music. I’ve written film songs before and I’ve written with everyone from Bob Dylan to Sinead O’Connor. So with all that experience I’ve got a lot to draw on and so has Glen. Working with such a great director as Matthew and a scriptwriter like Bruce, we can pull out all sorts of moods, ambiences and melodies that would serve certain parts of the musical even when there’s no singing of songs.

CM: Do you prefer writing songs from personal experiences, as you did with Annie Lennox in the Eurhythmics, or writing for a character?.

DS: To tell you the truth it’s the same thing. What happens is, no matter what the character, there’s always something in that character that has happened to you. You can put yourself in that character and ask yourself what you would be doing in that situation. Like actors do, you draw upon your own emotions which puts you in a zone where your fingers fall on certain chords and melodies and that’s how it happens.

CM: In the musical, Unchained Melody remains from the film, are the rest of the songs all original?

DS: They’re all originals. Unchained Melody stays in it in a very unusual way. It’s a clever trick by Matthew; it’s not an illusion trick; the song is weaved into the production in a very playful way and it makes you love Sam, the main character, just before he gets shot.

CM: What was it like returning to Abbey Road with this cast recently, having worked with some of the musical greats there?

DS: It was good. That recording is really the very first rough cast recording though and we plan to release a soundtrack album much further down the line.

CM: How do you feel about the musical coming to Manchester before London?

DS: Great – you’ve got the Opera House which is very beautiful. Manchester really is a very cultural arts centre. Everyone here is interested in the arts and theatre so I’m sure the audience will find this to be a phenomenon. I really think the audience will be pleased to have it opening here.

Ghost the Musical runs at the Opera House from 28 March to 14 May 2011. Tickets are on sale now.

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AnonymousApril 7th 2011.

I went to see Ghost the Musical last night and was amazed at the effects. Well done to all involved. The whole cast were fantastic. I have not enjoyed a night at the theatre so much. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL.

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