Southampton, the starting-point for the most famous sea-voyage in history, is also where this new tour of Titanic starts – at The Mayflower.
First things first – this is not Jack, Rose and Celine Dion. If that’s what you’re looking for, don’t go. However, if you are looking for a (reasonably) faithful retelling of an awful historical truth set to Maury Yeston’s glorious score – book your place now.
Musical director Mark Aspinall has a small-but-perfectly-formed band and a hard-working cast of 25, producing bell-clear, dynamic vocals.
This ensemble work like troopers – slipping easily between character and costume with barely the batting of an eyelid or the snatching of a breath – but, inevitably, some stand out more than others.
Particularly good work comes from Greg Castiglioni as ship’s architect Andrews, Niall Sheehy as stoker Barrett, Oliver Marshall as geeky radio-man Harold Bride, Victoria Serra as feisty Irish girl, Kate McGowan and Claire Machin as busybody Alice Beane.
The simple setting is effective and well-worked by the cast and the lighting and sound are as much a part of the action as the performers. The noise that shudders through the auditorium and audience as the ship takes its final plunge is terrifying.
Here’s wishing them all Godspeed.