Titanic – a legend

Image: Pamela Wraith

Titanic – a legend. Inspired by one of the greatest maritime disasters in history, Titanic The Musical, hit Bromley town centre at the Churchill Theatre from 16th to 18th March. The ‘unsinkable’ ship sets sail for her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, with a cast of 25 talented actors taking us through epic moments of passengers living their hopes and dreams, but unaware of the fate that awaits them.

Inspired by real-life stories of passengers, the music and lyrics written by Maury Yeston and book by Peter Stone presents a beautiful story-telling of soloist, duets and ensembles to convey the final hours of the RMS Titanic, 14th April 1912, where the ‘floating city’ vanishes beneath the freezing icy waters on the 15th April after colliding with an iceberg.

Having recently interviewed Abi Hudson (The Maid) from Bromley, the Bromley Buzz Podcast were excited and eager to see her performance and show.  Listen to her interview here.

As the curtains drew back, we are presented with a simple set that was spot-on, used to perfection, and the lighting was used to great effect, whether conveying the coldness of the air, the blinding brightness of the iceberg, or the eeriness of missed opportunities and the demise of key figures in the tale.  

The show begins with a rather long song that introduces us to the various characters who are about to set sail on the “unsinkable” modern miracle the RMS Titanic. We meet J Bruce Ismay, the owner, Thomas Andrews the designer, Edward Smith the ship’s Captain, the crew and the passengers from first-class billionaires to the second-class, the not so rich travelling to third class immigrants, the poor who have scraped enough money to get them to the promised land of America across the Atlantic Ocean.

Taking a box of tissues along, we were a tad bit disappointed that they remained untouched. Whilst a very good show put together with strong singing voices; with lots going on with long ballads this did not always give the characters time for the audience to connect and enjoy each character on an emotional level.  There was just too much jumping around from the first-class opulence to the cramped decks below of third-class.  A little more fleshing out of the third-class characters would help to make you feel more connected to them.

The majority of the tale is sung, therefore there is very little spoken dialogue. More dialogue would have given the extra edge to resonating with the characters more.

Yes, there were some really moving points within the production that provided some goosebump moments, like the moment when the lookout yells, ‘iceberg right ahead!’ and sounds the warning bell, and as the delightful elderly Strauss couple sang and danced their final moments.

The final scenes are moving as one might expect from such a tragic tale. Amid all the singing and dancing of the musical, more than 100 years on, one will never forget the terrible human tragedy of the Titanic and it will continue live on in history…

All in all, a good way to pass a few hours on a Friday evening.

Zeenat Noorani & Sarah Marsh-Collings

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