When I told friends and family I was going to see the Titanic musical I had two types of response, one of the ‘it sinks you know’ spoiler alert category and the other …. ‘really? there’s a musical that’s been made out of one of the most tragic disasters of the 20th Century when hundreds of people (1517 to be precise) lost their lives?’
So in answer to those responses yes I know it does (who hasn’t watched one of the films or documentaries about this catastrophic event) and yes one has been made so …. a disaster musical? that’s got to be something to see?
The David Woodhead two-tier stage set including the tell tale ship rivets as a backdrop looked quite basic at the outset including one single ladder that was pulled across the stage at various times but it was incredibly effective in showing the different levels on the ship and even posed as the lookout tower.
I’ll keep quiet about what happens to the set when broken-hearted Thomas Andrews (magnificently sung by Greg Castiglioni) is caught in the sinking, but that scene is worth the watch.
This was a ship of dreams and we’ve all heard some of the stories so many times that the characters of the passengers are known to us. The proud ship designer, the arrogant J. Bruce Ismay, the captain on his last voyage, the Irish going to seek a better life and the devoted duo who would not leave each other even unto death, all ably brought to life by the score of Maury Yeston by Mark Aspinsall’s strings and percussion band which expertly took us on the journey from jovial to desolate.
One of my favourite scenes as the production came alive was the first class dining experience, a gracefully choreographed scene with the unflappable and proper Etches brought to life by Matthew McKenna, one of the stand out actors of this production and who stole the stage again during ‘Wake up Wake up’
Oliver Marshall was perfect as the officious Harold Bride the Marconi radio operator and Lewis Cornays the loveable and lively Bell boy also shone in this production.
Altogether an entertaining and thought provoking evening showing us the strengths and foibles of human nature…. whatever class you may be travelling in!
Words Debbie Barlow