by Dave Massey twitter.com/brumhour
Titanic The Musical at Birmingham Hippodrome
I have to say I was a little worried about seeing TITANIC THE MUSICAL which is on at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 9th June, This is a bold production, which instead of focusing on traditional lead characters has a large ensemble cast.
This is also a production which, despite being billed as a musical, only contains one or two “traditional” style musical numbers such as Autumn and The Proposal/The Night I was Alive. The rest of the songs are full of stories and information contained in the lyrics about the passengers and the RMS Titanic. These are told with some pretty big vocals from a cast who is warm and proud of the story they are sharing.
Even before the Titanic film in 1997 I knew quite a lot about the story of RMS Titanic from news stories and documentaries, The Titanic took its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on Wednesday 10th April 1912. In the early hours of the following Monday, 15th April it hit an iceberg.
Directed by Walsall born Thom Southerland and written by Maury Yeston, TITANIC THE MUSICAL explores those five days, with some stark realism on a single set which represents the inside of the RMS Titanic, and the audience represent the sea, (a sea of people), these are powerful markers and I must have had something in my eye a couple of times along the way.
Castwise stand outs include ships crew: Philip Rham as Captain Edward Smith, Niall Sheehy as Frederick Barrett the Lead Stoker , Oliver Marshall as junior wireless officer Harold Bride, plus Emma Harrold as Kate Mullin (based on Catherine Mullins), Devon-Elise Johnson as Kate Murphy (Catherine Murphy) and Victoria Serra as Kate McGowan (Catherine McGowan).
Other great cast members include Dudley Rogers and Judith Street as Isidor and Ida Straus (Isidor had acquired Macy’s department store with his brother which is referred to during the story), Claire Machin as Alice Beane, a second class passenger who dreams of being in first class and Claire Marlowe as Lady Caroline Neville who has committed the class system sin of falling in love with someone not from her class.
At two hours and thirty five minutes I was fairly worried that this would feel like a terribly long drawn out show, but the stories all play out fairly swiftly in the first half, and the second half all takes place on that fateful night. I’d not normally give away something so spoilery as this, but it’s something to be expected.
Bold, brave, poignant and tragic, TITANIC THE MUSICAL is at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 9th June. Tickets are available here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/titanic-the-musical/
This isn’t a sponsored post. #BrumHour was invited to see TITANIC THE MUSICAL by Birmingham Hippodrome.