GOOD Friday, April 6, 8pm. A huge audience, a quiet sea, a full moon and not as one of its songs says “No moon”, and hardly chilly enough for an iceberg, it was full steam ahead for the Atlantic Theatre Company’s Titanic – The Musical!
Marking the start of the Minack’s 80th year and the centenary of the loss of the “ship of dreams”, its opening big number was the best of its kind seen here in a good while and a healthy sign of what was to follow.
Capturing and conveying a sense of the occasion, of the awe emitted by this amazing vessel, the excitement of its maiden voyage and the promise that America offered to so many of the passengers, together with the knowledge of the pity and panic to come to these poor souls, it gripped from the moment it cast off to its sinking shortly afterwards. .
With help of Michael Meers’ impressively detailed set, period costumes, great sound effects and even greater music from the live orchestra, which though unseen certainly makes its presence felt, plus a huge cast in which everyone from the ship’s officers to the smallest passenger are on top form, from stem to stern, First to Third Class, this is an excellent treatment of this Peter Stone (story and book) and Maury Yeston (music and lyrics) musical.
While it may seem a strange subject for a musical it follows a serious and sombre course, one followed so successfully by this production that, with due respect to James Cameron and Julian Fellowes, one soon forgets other versions of this horrific tragedy at sea.
Maybe it is because it involves live people enacting all that happened on April 14, 1912, and to such a high standard, but it seems for real and is most moving. Directed by Phil Barnett, with musical director Scott Watters, I said farewell to it feeling if only they had been Captain and First Officer of this “unsinkable” ship then, under their guidance, there would have been no disaster but instead, as with this splendid production, only huge success.
There are performances at 8pm today and tomorrow and at 10.20pm on Saturday, the fateful April 14 .