SAIL ON, GREAT SHIP
The 1997 Tony Award winning Best Musical, TITANIC, opened its doors at the Charing Cross Theatre last night. Thom Southerland’s multi award winning production first opened in 2013 at the Southwark Playhouse, crossed the ocean to do a stint at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, and has now come home to London.
When you first mention TITANIC as a musical to people, they instantly think of Leo and Kate’s Jack and Rose belting out Céline Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, and who can blame them, especially as this show first premiered on Broadway the same year as the blockbuster film. Luckily however, Peter Stone’s touching story and book and Maury Yeston’s sweeping music and lyrics makes this show stand on its own feet. Their take on histories most infamous sinking sees real lives – from the promise of a new land aboard the great floating city, to the impending doom.
I’ve known and loved the soaring score for years, but having never seen a production of TITANIC I was obviously very intrigued as to how you stage the demise of the largest moving object in the world. A simplistic but striking set design from David Woodhead has the cast manipulating railings and a stair case to form the various parts of the ship to great effect. I was worried that the intimate space of the Charing Cross Theatre wouldn’t do justice to this large musical, but this was in vein. Southerland’s production is every bit as grand as it needs to be, with the soaring vocals from the stellar cast piercing the air accompanied by Mark Aspinall and Joanna Cichonska’s band heard through the near perfect sound design from Andrew Johnson.
As for the acting talent, this production of TITANIC is really an ensemble piece, with the majority of the cast playing at least two roles, giving a sense of the thousands on board. It is impossible for me to single out any cast members as every single one of them moved me throughout the evening. David Bardsley, Alistair Barron, Helena Blackman, Scarlett Courtney, Scott Cripps, Matthew Crowe, James Gant, Luke George, Douglas Hansell, Rob Houchen, Sion Lloyd, Claire Machin, Shane McDaid, Jessica Paul, Peter Prentice, Philip Rham, Dudley Rogers, Victoria Serra, Niall Sheehy and Judith Street, thank you all.
If you missed this production three years ago, then I urge you not to do so again. This score is much loved in the musical theatre community and needs to be heard, and the Charing Cross Theatre is the place to feel it come alive this summer.
28th May – 6th August
Charing Cross Theatre
Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm
Wednesday matinee at 2:30pm
Saturday matinee at 3:00pm
Prices: Premium £39.50 which includes best stalls locations,
a programme and a glass of bubbly
08444 930 650