Reviewed by Lorna Templeton
This powerfully affecting production manages to capture all the human tragedy bound up with the Titanic. First and foremost, it is a brilliantly personal tribute to the 1,503 passengers and crew who perished in the freezing waters of the Atlantic in April 1912. It also succeeds in giving as sympathetic a portrayal as possible of the hubris that ultimately led to this horrendous loss of life.
The very human desire to push boundaries – to go faster, higher, stronger, bigger – was the driving force behind this spectacular feat of engineering. It was also, however, its downfall, reckless behaviour both in the construction of the ship and on its maiden voyage ensuring the death toll was far higher than it ever needed to be.
In their words and music, Maury Yeston and Peter Stone have done a fine job of laying bare what happened without wagging too many fingers. There is an expertly judged lightness of touch throughout, most obviously in the four interwoven love stories which take us inside the experience of each passenger class.
The thing that stays with you is the excitement these people felt not only at being part of history, but at the prospect of new lives, new starts. Up on the bridge, meanwhile, there is pride at what they’ve built and a desire to press on. On all sides we find a wretchedly false sense of security.
The staging is simple but all the more effective for that. And though you know what’s coming, the big moments are delivered with a visual and vocal ferocity that still contrive to shock. This is a truly special piece of work which in many respects is a much less clunky offering than the film. It doesn’t set out to tug at the heart strings, but it does just that regardless. The vocal performances are tremendous, and the entire ensemble cast are simply astonishing in their talent and energy.
A truly amazing evening at the theatre.
Tickets cost from £15.90 to £48.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Titanic The Musical is at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow from 28 May to 2 June 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/kings or call the box office on 0844 871 7648.
King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN | 0844 871 7648