The tragic story of the Titanic has captivated audiences for over a century – whilst this may not be the ‘Titanic’ you are familiar with, it would be a Titanic tragedy if you were to miss this absorbing, atmospheric and emotive production.
Maury Yeston and Peter Stone have crafted an extremely moving rendition of one of the world’s greatest tragedies, weaving together the love, loss and doom of several true to life characters aboard the ‘unsinkable ship’.
Inspired by the discovery of the wrecked RMS Titanic in 1985, Yeston and Stone sought to stretch the boundaries of expression on the theatre stage. The production highlights brilliantly the rigid class structure of turn-of-the-century British culture, before the ship ultimately sinks to the bottom of the freezing cold ocean.
This show has it all; amazing songwriting and exceptional performances to carry it all through with love, triumph and sadness woven throughout the lyrics and plot-line. It focuses deep on the human condition, separated by superficial classes but wholly different ideals. The lower class passengers dream of their new lives in America, while the crew wishes to triumph with their ‘unsinkable ship’. Those in the upper classes however want nothing more than to upgrade their tickets or to leave their legacy in this world, which they do (albeit at the bottom of the ocean.)
The costumes and the set production all combine with the superbly sung and orchestrated musical numbers to paint a sentimentality that transports you back in time. There are villains to boil your blood, the slimy businessman J. Bruce Ismay who escaped the wreck on his own life boat and became known as the ‘Coward of the Titanic’. As well as their being unsung heroes to root for before their untimely and all too inevitable demise.
Where the production shines, is in its depiction of sheer panic as our characters, whose lives we have barely touched upon, begin to realise their fate. The brilliant performances on stage are often reminiscent of a powerful opera rather than all-singing all-dancing. We watch as these people, who we know to have actually existed, live their final moments. Choosing to either cling to one another, or take their lives with their own hands such as the Captain, who rather than meet the same fate as his passengers, puts a bullet quickly and cowardly into his own head.