Music and Lyrics - Maury Yeston
Directed by - Thom Southerland
Review by - David Bithell
Photo credit - Pamela Raith
We arrived at The Regent Theatre, Hanley and was greeted by a string quartette in the foyer.
Titanic The Musical is not to be confused with James Cameron’s 1997 multi oscar winning film about the doomed love story of Jack and Rose.
There are no Kate/Leonardo lookalikes and Celine Dion’s heart wasn’t going on, but there is romance and of course tragic endings.
On stage, you are greeted with an impressive functional set, the Titanic, the ship of dreams, the floating city.
During the play, there are the on-board love affairs finely capturing the worst extremes of the English class divide, placing passengers into their different decks according to wealth and concession.
The most endearing of the romance and charming of all is that of Ida Straus (Valda Aviks) and her husband Isidor (David Delve), a senior couple who have preserved the magic.
As you can imagine, this is very much an upstairs-downstairs story. From the hard-working, poorly paid stokers in the engine rooms who are keeping afloat the delusions of the wealthy, in particular the managing director of the White Star Line, J Bruce Ismay (Martin Allanson), cast in the role of villain.
Avoiding confrontation to Ismay is Captain Edward Smith (Graham Bickley), portrayed as both deferential and incompetent, making catastrophic decisions from the off which included ignoring the warnings of icebergs. The Titanic in fact received seven by wireless telegraph before the disaster struck.
Music underscores almost the whole show and the songs are non-stop with plenty of powerful, at times vocal, voices to tug at the heart strings from a 25-strong cast.
Stand-out performances for me included Henry Etches played by Barnaby Hughes.
Cheerful to the end, Etches pours out Cristal champagne to the Strauses as the ship sinks, first class passengers grabbing the lifeboats to secure their own survival.
Titanic The Musical is one not to be missed as it pays homage to those who sadly died.
Titanic The Musical is at The Regent Theatre, Hanley until Saturday 29th April. For tickets, visit https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/titanic-the-musical/regent-theatre/ or call 0844 871 7627.