REVIEW: Titanic The Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Titanic The Musical launches its debut UK tour at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, April 2018. Picture by Scott Rylander.
Titanic The Musical launches its debut UK tour at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, April 2018. Picture by Scott Rylander.
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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.

JAMES GEORGE