Ghost The Musical

 In Musicals, West End

Following a sell-out run at the Manchester Opera House, GHOST opened at the Piccadilly Theatre on 24th June 2011.

Paul has created some totally innovative effects to bring the famous 1990 movie onto the stage.

Ghost The Musical, and especially Paul’s work got rave reviews in Manchester.

“The ultimate scene-stealers are the amazing special effects . Illusion expert Paul Kieve,  helped create the jaw-dropping visuals which make this a true 21st century musical where technical wizardry vies with the cast and the score for top billing.” Manchester Evening News

“The stage effects and illusions are breathtaking’ Jewish Chronicle

‘What really gives this musical the wow factor are the magic tricks created by Harry Potter illusionist Paul Kieve. Fleesham is seen walking through walls and doors. But the best illusions are saved for the very end .” This is Lancashire

‘What makes the show so special though is the eye popping special effects which have you wondering ‘how did they do that’ long after you leave the theatre. Fleeshman jumps through doors, people, and at one point disappears right in front of your eyes-a real testament to illusionist Paul Kieve who has worked his magic on the production.’  Manchester’s Finest

For more information on the West End run and tickets go to

Read more about Paul’s contribution in this article in the Manchester Evening News.

Check out this video…


Some reviews

‘The best single argument for putting this film on stage is Paul Kieve’s special effects. Sam puts his hand through a door, Sam disappears into thin air, characters rise up and leave their bodies when they die.. a high concept show becomes credible.’
Dominic Maxwell, The Times ****

‘A new West End hit has landed. ‘Ghost the Musical’ is a gleaming piece of stagecraft whose smoke, mirrors, full-throttle heartache and beguiling special effects put it light years ahead of many of its ageing competitors…. Illusionist Paul Kieve yanks spirits impressively out of dead bodies and sends them whooshing through walls. … Kieve, Driscoll and designer Rob Howell create an electric shadow-filled world of greed and yearning’
Time Out, London

‘..cunningly effective ghostly apparitions courtesy of helmer Matthew Warchus (with illusions by Paul Kieve)…the how-did-they-do-that? factor of the ghost effects are the show’s highs’
David Benedict, Variety (USA)

‘In the movies, you can make anything happen. In the theatre, it takes real ingenuity to summon up ghosts and physical disturbances from beyond the grave. Warchus succeeds spectacularly, here with the help of the illusionist Paul Kieve.
I wondered how it was going to be possible to repeat the film’s trick of showing ghosts emerging from the bodies of those who snuff it during the course of the story. Warchus and Kieve offer a different kind of astonishment. You see the body, and, a few seconds later, you see the ghost, played by the actor you thought was pretending to be dead. He’s yards away from the stiff and you have no idea how he got there. This happens several times, and on each occasion I was fooled by the cunning misdirection of the staging.’
Charles Spencer Daily Telegraph ****

‘Paul Kieve, who created the illusions, and Sharon D Clarke, playing the phoney psychic .. are two of the secret weapons of British theatre, and steal the show with their contributions – the first by stealth, the second with sass.’
Mark Shenton, The Stage

‘..the good news is, the musical proves more impressive than the film, because the canny director Matthew Warchus has a wizard technical team, including the illusionist Paul Kieve. The trompe l’oeils are more thrilling and entertaining. In fact, they’re some of the best I’ve seen on stage. You see Richard Fleeshman’s Sam shot dead in an alley, then his soul, in the blink of an eye, rising like a doppelgänger from his corpse which remains sprawled on the ground. When he melts into thin air at the end, you can’t see how that’s done either.’
Kate Bassett, Sunday Independent

‘..the appeal lies in Matthew Warchus’s super-slick production and Paul Kieve’s illusions, which use the latest technology to zoom bodies through solid doors.. and a plethora of other amazing special effects. These set a new industry standard and should win awards’
Robert Gore-Langton, Mail On Sunday.

‘Terrific illusions and conjuring tricks from Paul Kieve. Sam passes through a solid door right before our eyes – but later he has to move things around, like a poltergeist’
Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times.

‘Sam’s death is perhaps the first really impressive moment where a grapple with a mugger results in a gun shot and in Sam seemingly running out of his dead body. It’s the first of several stand out illusions masterminded by magician Paul Kieve, which only gain in sophistication as the show progresses,’
Julie Carpenter, Daily Express

‘The chief success is the production’s aesthetic. Rob Howell’s impressive set deftly integrates magician Paul Kieve’s effects … and there are moments of gasp-inducing ingenuity. This technical wizardry, allied to the appeal of the leads, may just be enough to make Ghost: The Musical an unearthly hit.
The Evening Standard ***

‘ is left to gawp at the ingenuity of Paul Kieve’s illusions.’
Michael Billington, The Guardian ***

‘Illusionist Paul Kieve and director Matthew Warchus exhibit a staggering level of stagecraft as Sam – and every other character that dies in this show – makes the transition from life to afterlife. There are new tricks too. Ghosts really do appear to walk through doors and pass through objects… You will laugh (Sharon D Clarke’s Oda Mae), you will cry, but mostly you will be awestruck.’
John Nathan, Jewish Chronicle

‘..a clever box of tricks has Fleeshman’s Sam walking through doors and darting in and out of Oda Mae’s body’
Kate Jackson, The Sun

“The ultimate scene-stealers are the amazing special effects – like Sam disappearing through a door. Illusion expert Paul Kieve, who worked on Harry Potter 3, helped create the jaw-dropping visuals which make this a true 21st century musical where technical wizardry vies with the cast and the score for top billing.
Deanna Demalotta, Manchester Evening News

‘Direction is by Matthew Warchus, who has enormous fun with artifice and theatrical prestidigitation. When Sam walks through a closed door, the gasp of disbelief in the audience is as entertaining as the effect itself. Carl is whooshed around the stage when he dies and goes to hell. A letter magically folds itself up.’
Warwick Thomsom, Bloomberg Press USA

The appearances of Sam and other ghosties are engineered thanks to … some clever tricks. Well done, illusionist Paul Kieve.’
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

‘Paul Kieve’s illusions thrill as our hero, say, melts into thin air.’
Paul Taylor, The Independent ***

‘spectacular moving video screens and special effects’
Alun Palmer, Daily Mirror

Paul Kieve creates some fine illusions of incorporeality
Ian Shuttelworth, Financial Times ***

‘What really gives this musical the wow factor are the magic tricks created by Harry Potter illusionist Paul Kieve. Fleesham is seen walking through walls and doors, while objects appear to float in thin air and the scenes on the subway really have to be seen to be believed. But the best illusions are saved for the very end — although I won’t spoil the magic.’
Jemma Humphries, This Is Lancashire

‘Gasp in amazement as the buff Fleeshman walks through a closed door, and pay special attention whenever anyone gets killed… in a flash you’ll see the ghost literally jump out of the corpse’.
Phil Roe, Tottenham and Wood Green Journal

‘If you loved the film of Ghost, you will love this spectacular production of the musical at the Piccadilly theatre. The effects are astonishing as are the performances. Rob Howell, Jon Driscoll and Paul Kieve create something very special in design, video and projection design and illusions, quite brilliant.
Towards the end when Sam enters the body of Oda, spiritually to dance with Molly, I cried, and at the curtain call I stood with the audience made up of a lot of women of a certain age and Dame Judi Dench…this show will keep the Piccadilly Theatre open for a very long time.’
Christopher Biggins, The Huffington

‘The story – of love and loss – remains at the heart of the piece, and for all its trickery, humour and flashy graphics the stage show has the ability to move us to tears, perhaps even more than the original film. The illusions are spine-tingling to watch.’
Official London Theatre (SOLT)

‘One of the first things I have to mention is the skilful work of Paul Kieve for his fantastic illusions. From start to finish his work is cutting edge and mind-blowing. I do not think you will find many audience members who are not actively pondering “how did they do that?”. Even now I would like to know how Carl is lifted 4 feet off the ground by an invisible Sam without the use of wires! Moments to watch out for are dead bodies appearing from nowhere as the soul leaves, Sam disappearing into thin air and Grandpa Orlando disappearing into Oda’s body.’
Alan Mehdizadeh

‘what really stands out strong our the illusions created by master illusionist Paul Kieve which really brings the show its wow factor…you really do need to see them in person to fully appreciate how good they really are.’
The Public

‘..enthralling special effects that really gave the show the wow factor and moved us from this world to beyond… The illusions by Paul Kieve are well… magical. Objects float in mid air; Sam vanishes through walls and learns some amazing trickery from a poltergeist in a New York subway, in a scene that really is unbelievable.’
Chris Hurley,

‘Portraying a disembodied spirit as one of the main characters, provides plenty of opportunities for effects and tricks. In fact, they are called ‘illusions’ here and cleverly designed by Paul Kieve. Particularly effective are the instances where Sam and mugger, Willie, die and become ghosts instantly switching between their corpses on the floor and their ghostly incarnations. There’s also a neat trick when Sam walks through a door, and the scenes in the subway are quite brilliantly realised’
Peter Brown London

‘The illusions by Paul Kieve .. outwitted the Whingers at almost every turn. Sam’s two final departures were really rather extraordinary.’
West End Whingers

‘The onstage illusions by Paul Kieve are deft and fast: he really does walk through that door’
Johnny Fox, Londonist

The smoke and mirrors of the afterlife provide some of the best bits of the show..brilliant supernatural illusions.’
West End Geek

 ‘I was absolutely enchanted by the magic of GHOST. Simply sensational.  Stupendous!’
Dame Judi Dench

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