‘Godspeed, Titanic…’ Titanic the Musical, Orchard Theatre, Dartford 27.06.2023

Last night I was back at the Orchard Theatre, for this weeksopening night of the current UK tour of Titanic the Musical. 

Based on the real passengers aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Titanic the Muscial follows their journeys of the Titanic from the docks of Southampton to its tragic collision with the iceberg which led ‘the unsinkable ship’ to the bottom of the Atlantic. Marked as one of the most tragic disasters of the 20th century, where 1,517 men, women and children sadly lost their lives. 

With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and book by Peter stone the story is beautifully and respectfully told which engages the audience from the very start. Act 1 focussing a lot on the passengers of each class, the third class with their hopes, dreams, and aspirations for their futures in America, along with the Second class that wish to join the 1st class that feel their legacies will last. There were families, couples, workers, and crew all of which didn’t know the fate that they would endure. The power of Act 1 really ensured that Act 2 would be if you could say a difficult yet moving watch. Having got to know the passengers, you now watched them fall with feeling helpless, knowing there was nothing you could do. Maury and Peter created a beautiful musical to turn a horrific event into a respectful reflection. Many of the public have I am sure seen James Cameron’s 1995 film, but this musical personally was more powerful and a better representation to the Titanic.  I came away from the show with a bit more knowledge of what had happened, blown away with what I had learnt. 

These emotions wouldn’t have happened however, if it wasn’t for the amazing cast that told their story, each cast member playing a multiple of character and each displaying the emotions of each from the start, especially from the ladies Emily George, Emma Harrold, Niamh Long, Bree Smith and Lucie-Mae Summer who all not only sang beautifully portrayed the wives, fiancés, new love greatly that when they parted their love ones you really felt for them all. All distinctly changed personas to each role they played. Complimenting them of course were their fellow men, Chris Nevin, Matthew McDonald, Edgar Beane, Alastair Hill again gave strong performance throughout. A special mention to the Straus couple played by Valda Aviks and David Delve, they were the co-owner of Macy’s department store and married for 40 years they both died in the sinking of the Titanic and Valda and David both commended the couple, clearly showing the love the two had and how both were dedicated and protective of one another – this was greatly shown in their duet Still. 

Along with the couples were the workers and creators of the Titanic, Paul Kemble steps into the shoes of J. Bruce Ismay, a man driven by his greed to have a legacy that led to many deaths, it was hard to like the character but that just shows how well Paul portrayed him. Alongside him was Captain Edward Smith played by Graham Bickley and Thomas Andrews – Ian Mclarnon, their Trio ‘The Blame’ was so powerful, how 3 men who have the weight of so many lives on their shoulders break down it really did draw the audience in. Special mentions must go to Barnaby Huges as Etches and Adam Filipe as Frederick Barrett, and Joseph Peacock as Bellboy/Wallace Hartley – all workers on the Titanic, all who stood strong for their passengers and supported them till the cold end. Their emotions were to a point were I also had tears in my eyes, along with their warm toned voices – they were such a joy to watch and learn about. 

Titanic isn’t your average musical, it is a beautiful telling of a terrible event that affected so many lives, done respectfully and historically accurate that you go away blown away and moved by the show that will stay with you. It is a show to remember and one not to miss if it comes to a theatre near you. 

Playing at the Orchard Theatre until Saturday 1st July, for all ticket information go here. It will then continue its Uk tour, for all dates and venues go to their website here.  

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