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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Titanic The Musical In Concert (Melbourne Town Hall) - 110 minutes, plus a 20-minute interval

Enthusiasm, expectation and excitement in the first half give way to drama and raw emotion in the second act in Titanic The Musical In Concert.

1,517 people, more than two thirds of those that boarded the world’s largest moving object, died after the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40pm on 14th April, 1912 and sank early the following morning.

The 269-metre-long ship was on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City when tragedy struck, but not before six ice warnings had been issued.

In fact, guilt is a theme that resounds in the musical. The original story and book are by Peter Stone, with original music and lyrics by Maury Yeston.

Photos by Paul Mulligan

Anthony Warlow is an inspired choice as the ship’s captain. His gravitas is apparent from the get-go and his sense of timing is impeccable.

As ship builder Thomas Andrews, Juan Jackson too makes an immediate impression with the rich timbre in his voice.

Kane Alexander revels in his role as the villain of the piece.

He plays J. Bruce Ismay, the impatient chairman and owner of the White Star Line, which operated Titanic. Ismay constantly pushed for more speed from the vessel.

Around them, the supporting cast of 20 do an excellent job bringing the catastrophic story to life.

The first act introduces the characters and gives us several of their back stories.

We hear passengers’ hopes and are shown the contrast between first, second and third class ticket holders.

While all are innocently unaware of the fate that awaits them, third class immigrants dream of a better life in America.

At least one in second class is a social climber hell bent on rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.

The millionaire barons in first class anticipate ongoing legacies without interruption.

Notwithstanding a few microphone issues when I saw the production, the music is particularly powerful, especially the chorus numbers.

The full orchestra does the material justice, with musical direction from Stephen Gray.

With only some simple props, this concert version of Titanic benefits from excellent lighting design from Jason Bovaird.

Directed by Theresa Borg, with choreography from Katie Ditchburn, Titanic The Musical In Concert is playing at Melbourne Town Hall until 6th November, 2022.


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