Review: Titanic

It’s a strange feeling entering a show already being fully aware of the ending. But Titanic isn’t just about a sinking ship, but one that champions the resilient actions a human can take when placed in the most unthinkable of situations.

Without a Celine Dion song within splashing distance, Titanic invites you to climb aboard a journey you’re already well aware of. Based on true events, the show tilts your knowledge slightly towards a new set of passengers — all of varying social class — and finds out why they have more in common with each other than they’d expect. And that one thing? Love.

Making a welcome return to London at the Charing Cross Theatre, Titanic’s star isn’t the ship, but its stunning score of delights — delivered perfectly by this cast of fine vocalists. Maury Yeston’s score is a tapestry of hope, warmth and heartache that gives every character their chance to shine. Matched by this ensemble of exquisite performers, there’s thankfully never a moment to pause as you move along with the narrative well.

Speeding to access, much like the ship was, this stunning production floats a remarkable story, and cast, of an unsinkable boat – that sinks. But as this iconic ship makes its maiden voyage, the iceberg disaster [devised brilliantly here] is a somewhat surprise. Yes, we all know it happens, but the stories woven in this piece present more than just two hours of waiting for disaster strike — the success of Peter Stone’s beautifully devised book.

It would be somewhat easy to lose yourself in the many varying characters, with some occasions becoming confusing with those moving between roles as each scene begins. However, bold acting choices make this a small and forgettable distraction. And, as many of us fight the emotive wave that lands on our deck, Titanic tugs at your ever-broken heart with an elderly couple that just won’t end their lives apart. Brave, but most certainly needed.

Thom Southerland’s production makes full use of David Woodhead’s simple yet rather charming set. One of the finest to be seen at the Charing Cross Theatre, the clever inclusion of moving pieces and steps leaves little to the imagination — Titanic’s look well kept throughout.

The idea of Titanic as a musical might seem like a bizarre suggestion, when actually, it’s most probably the ideal one. Bursting with the regal charm and emotive pull the original movie did so well, re-live a fresh story of how so many people lost their lives in one of the most tragic disasters of all time.

GT gives Titanic — 5/5

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