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Titanic the Musical has come to Norwich Theatre Royal as part of it’s UK tour and me and John went to see it last night! Read on to see what I thought!
About the show
In the final hours of 14th April 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg and ‘the unsinkable ship’ slowly sank. It was one of the most tragic disasters of the 20th Century. 1517 men, women and children lost their lives.
Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Titanic The Musical is a stunning and stirring production focusing on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of her passengers who each boarded with stories and personal ambitions of their own. All innocently unaware of the fate awaiting them, the Third Class immigrants’ dream of a better life in America, the Second Class imagine they too can join the lifestyles of the rich and famous, whilst the millionaire Barons of the First Class anticipate legacies lasting forever.
Did we enjoy it?
I was curious to see how the stage would be set, and how a ship as grand as the Titanic could be shown. The set is actually really simple with a few quick and easy changes between scenes. Steps, tables and desks are whisked around the stage, allowing us to be transported from one part of the ship to another.
The first half of the show sets the scene, letting us get to know the characters on board the Titanic. While a necessary and needed aspect, I felt it was a little too long. I was starting to get fidgety, waiting for the big event to happen.
However, the first half of the show is packed with great songs where the cast can really show off just how amazing they are. This isn’t a musical with just a few songs. It’s a huge production with some characters singing what would normally be spoken, as well as all of the songs. One of my personal favourites was Lady’s Maid, where the Third class passengers are singing about wanting a better life in America.
Just like it was then, class plays a big part in this musical. On board the Titanic there are First, Second and Third-class passengers, who all have very different experiences. First-class are treated to dinners with the captain and free-flowing champagne, Second-class wish they were First-class and Third-class don’t get much of anything at all.
For me, the second half was the standout. Just before the interval, the Titanic hits the iceberg. We then learn what happens to each character, and how everyone copes. As I said earlier, there are no huge set changes so you’d think it would be hard to convey a situation as bad as this one.
The production does a fantastic job of conveying the feelings of the passengers and staff on board after the Titanic hits the iceberg. Third-class passengers get locked downstairs, panicking about who is going to live or die. First-class passengers realise there isn’t enough room in the boats and most of the men get left behind while women and children go off to something unknown.
There are no lifeboats on stage, no huge holes in the ship and no water, but I really felt in that moment with these characters. The first half means you’ve gotten to know these characters, and to see them realise what’s happening is heartbreaking. There’s also a really touching scene, focusing on how many people died and that more could have been saved. There were definitely a few tears shed on my end.
While Titanic the Musical hasn’t been my favourite so far this year, the production is fantastic and the cast is extremely talented. I think it would be hard to see this one without getting at least a bit emotional!
You can catch Titanic the Musical in Norwich until 6th May 2023.