Titanic: The Musical
John Diedrich’s version of Titanic: The Musical is the fourth production of this show that I have seen. As such, I am well aware of the problems Titanic has script-wise. While I haven’t always agreed with the critical assessment that the show lacks a true central narrative, tending to jump around a lot while spreading itself too thin, I can see where a lot of those ideas come from. However, this production of Titanic, out of all the other ones I have seen, transported me away, offering up a truly memorable night in the theatre I will not soon forget. It is simply brilliant.
The talented cast do a fabulous job bringing the story of this great ship and her passengers to life. They draw us into their world, be it the glitz of the first class or the rat infested third class cabins, we are there, sharing their hopes, dreams and excitement. Every detail is finely realised and the production itself moves with a wonderful pace towards its unavoidable conclusion. The sets are excellent and towards the end really take on a life of their own, I don’t want to spoil anything here but by the end you feel like you are out there on the ocean with them.
All of the cast do an excellent job but special mention must go to Alexander Lewis who plays Barrett the stoker. Lewis blew me away with his voice and presence, nailing all of his beautiful songs to the back wall of the theatre. His character, although not in the show nearly enough, is one of the night’s highlights.
Other notable performances include Katrina Retallick as the social climbing Alice Beane, Cameron Mannix who is perfect in sound, look and performance as the bandmaster and David Goddard as chief-steward Henry Etches. This is a cast of stars and it seems a shame to mention only a few, everyone is great!
For me however, the highlight was Hayden Tee as the ship’s builder and designer Thomas Andrews, he is exceptional. Tee carries himself with class and dignity and is completely believable in every scene he is in. His final scene, trying to redesign the ship, is heartbreaking and a true show stopper, it is worth the price of admission alone.
Musical theatre lovers are spoilt for choice in Sydney at the moment and things just seem to keep getting better. Titanic is a night in the theatre you won’t soon forget and to not see it would be a true shame.