Ghost Quartet by Dave Malloy

Smashing Cabinets Theatre’s adaptation of Dave Malloy’s Ghost Quartet is ghost-like and haunting, confusing at times, but generally falls somewhere between the mysteriousness of the occult and the comfort of the rustic, which affects the musical's atmosphere and action. This show has a very difficult score, so it is impressive how the four students of Warwick University handle and excel at the challenges it presents.

The four storytellers create a show where there is magic in the ordinary, and ordinary in the magic

Ghost Quartet is more enjoyable when you let the songs wash over you instead of trying to unpick the connections and non-linear structure of the story. There is as much beauty in the discordance as in the harmonies, something which takes a lot of confidence to bring to the stage convincingly, which the four actors have been able to do.

The musical is broken up by the cast who tell us each song’s name before performing it, but that just helps to signpost the different stages of the show itself, as due to the nature of the plot, there are several stories that are all happening at the same time and that weave in and out of each other (luckily, Smashings Cabinets Theatre has a handy graphic to help us untangle it all). It’s a disjointed narrative where the symbols of stars, the bonds of family and trains are repeated over and over, their significance emanating throughout the entire musical.

Accompanied by a live band onstage, the four storytellers create a show where there is magic in the ordinary, and ordinary in the magic. Hauntingly beautiful with an underlying menace throughout, it is amazing to see this adaptation unfold as it does.

The cast support each other melodically throughout, apart from when Isaac Frost sings Hero, which stands out all its own, and is a culmination of everything that came before. Considering the overwhelming tension and overwhelming sense of unease that hangs over the action, Frost’s Any Kind of Dead Person is such an upbeat and crazy break, with dancing ghosts and audience participation, to the point where it becomes incredibly frenzied. Probably the hardest song in the musical to sing well, Frost’s rendition is incredibly impressive considering the way that they fly around the stage.

Malloy is a musical genius. His music is very different and stands apart from other musical theatre scores, which makes Smashing Cabinets Theatre's professional performance all the more admirable. A talented quartet, hopefully we’ll see more of their work.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

The Stand Comedy Club

Helen Bauer: Madam Good Tit

★★★★★
Seven Dials Playhouse

Help! We Are Still Alive

★★★
Leicester Square Theatre

Rhys Nicholson - Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

★★★★★
The Bridge House Theatre

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

The Playground Theatre

Rehab: The Musical

★★★★
Soho Theatre

Javelin

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘Let me read you a story, let me read you a romance. I will read, you will listen, and this terrible night will pass…’ Join four storytellers on a journey through multiple, disjointed lifetimes, as they explore the moments that tear us apart, and the bonds that keep us together. Written by Dave Malloy, reimagined by Smashing Cabinets Theatre, and accompanied by a live band, Ghost Quartet is a musical unlike any other – weaving fairy-tales, a gothic mansion, and a New York Subway into an intricate tapestry of siblings, stars, and plenty of spirits.

Most Popular See More

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets