AUDIENCES at Pick Me Up Theatre’s production of Ghost The Musical have been crying so much that Joseph Rowntree Theatre staff have been dispatched to York's shops to buy tissues.

Since opening last Friday night, the York premiere has had visitors sobbing out loud and hugging each other for emotional support. "I'm delighted to see such a strong reaction to the show, which is based on the classic 1990 film starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze," says director Robyn Grant.

The story centres on young New York couple Sam and Molly – played by Joe Mellor and Lottie Henshall – who are torn apart when Sam is murdered, left for dead in a dark alleyway.

“During rehearsals, Lottie and Joe spent a lot of time together in character as the young lovers to form a close bond,” says Robyn. “I think their on-stage chemistry is so believable the audience can’t help but care about them and share their grief.

“At the end of the show, people have been leaving with tears streaming down their faces and so many ladies have asked at the kiosk for tissues we sent someone out after the matinee to go and buy some.”

Robyn's production starts to work on audience members from the minute they take their seats, with the cast playing ghosts trapped in limbo moving slowly around the auditorium as their invented obituaries are projected on to the back wall of the Jo Ro stage.

“I really wanted to create believable people and a real relationship,” says Robyn, who had to cram rehearsals into three weeks on her return to Yorkshire from her first year at East 15 Acting School in London.

“My vision for this show was to stay away from glitz and glamour and to look at the truths of love, loss and everything human in between. I wanted our production to make the audience an integral part of the action. They're as important as the cast and I think this is why they're feeling so much! We're inviting them to live out their own heartbreaks again with us and they're giving us so much back.”

Show-goers will be glad to know that light relief aplenty is provided in the larger-than-life form of York actress Emma Osman's phoney psychic Oda Mae Brown. "She's had audiences laughing out loud," says Robyn.

Ghost The Musical runs until Saturday ; performances start at 7.30pm plus a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday. Box office: 01904 623568 or