Titanic The Musical
Press Launch attended by Soraya Scrivener, SeaCity Museum
Carn’s Theatre Passion creator Caroline Hanks-Farmer reviewed Titanic for CTP at The Charing Cross Theatre in June 2016 and it reached her top 10 for that year. On 4th October 2017 its press launch gave a glimpse of the first UK and Ireland tour due to open next April at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 106 years after the sinking of the unsinkable. It is a scaled down version of the 1997 Broadway sensation which won 5 Tony Awards.
What a perfect setting the SeaCity Museum in Southampton was for the launch of Titanic the Musical, with it’s fascinating display of Southampton’s Titanic story. Michael Ockwell, The Mayflower Theatre Chief Executive opened the event nicely, expressing his excitement for this production. Then we were treated on a big screen to a flavour of this musical in trailer form. This gave me goose bumps and whetted my appetite for what’s in store next year. It looks and sounds truly sensational.
A Fitting Tribute
Danielle Tarento, one of the producers put across her passion for the show explaining it is full of truth of the story rather than focussing on the ship. A small cast double up as 1st, 2nd and 3rd class passengers as well as crew. Following its huge success last year, she felt it fitting and special starting the tour here in Southampton, the town where HMS Titanic set sail.
We were then entertained on-screen by a message from composer Maury Yeston from New York. He was clearly thrilled about the tour telling us that each character is based on a real name (person) from the disaster. He said, ‘This is your story…it’s now coming home…’ He finished by treating us to a rousing few bars on the piano.
Niall Sheehy as Barrett, the stoker and Matthew Crowe as Bride, the telegrapher sang live ‘The Proposal/ The Night Was Alive.’ This was touching and beautifully accompanied on the piano hinting of the high calibre cast we are to expect. Director, Thom Southerland has had plenty of experience directing this show across the globe in a variety of sized theatres so my worries of a production last performed in one of the smallest theatre’s in London translating to the vast Mayflower stage have been quashed. Thom admits he is a “Titanorac” (his word) and that it is a grand Broadway show, touched by this story from our past. He emphasised that the production is not depressing but full of hope and ambition for a new life.
Learning the facts behind the musical…….
I finished my visit by touring the SeaCity museum, full of great displays, interactive screens and activities with interesting facts and artefacts. It is brimming with personal stories from the survivors and Southampton’s residents. A particularly stand out for me was the recording from a survivor who described being in the lifeboat the moment the silence came. “No ships, no lights, no cries.” As I have lived in Southampton my whole life the most poignant information for me was: ‘More than three-quarters of the crew – 715 men and women – joined the ship from a Southampton address. Only 175 returned.’ What a beautiful tribute to our ancestors this musical will be.
Marking a Moment in History
Launching from The Mayflower Theatre Southampton on April 12th, 2018 and departing 21st April. It has a special 11.40pm performance on the 14th, the anniversary of the exact time and date the iceberg hit and running for 2 hours 40 minutes, the time it took for Titanic to sink. We were warned that it’s going to sell out so don’t delay in securing your 1st class ticket. It is then touring to Belfast, the city where the ship was built and continuing to Cardiff, Salford, Dublin, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Northampton, Nottingham, Blackpool and Bromley.