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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Titanic: The Musical at Mayflower Theatre

Growing up in Southampton, the story of the tragic maiden voyage of the Titanic is something has always been discussed and has become ingrained in part of my identity as a Sotonian. This year marked 106 years since the sinking of the White Star Line ship, so when the invite dropped into my inbox to join the Southampton Bloggers for press night of Titanic The Musical*, I jumped at the opportunity.

When we made our way to our seats, I was amazed to see a cast member already sat on stage, with the curtain up. This was the first time I've ever been to an open performance like this, and while it was attention grabbing, I do love the anticipation of waiting for the lights to dim and the curtain to raise at the beginning of a performance. Titanic The Musical, however, threw you straight into the action, with the lights going out quickly and there not being any waiting around before the performance got started. Before you know it, the orchestra is playing and cast members are walking down the centre aisles to get to the stage - incredible!

Speaking of the cast, the whole company were incredible. Being able to portray the range of feelings that the crew and passengers would've felt from embarking on this trip of a lifetime to coming to the realisation that tragedy has struck is no small feat. My particular favourites were co-owner of American department store Macy's Isidor Straus and his wife Ida. The story of their 40-year marriage and how they reacted to the news that the Titanic was sinking was heartbreaking and definitely brought a tear or two to my eye.

Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre

Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
The set design is also particularly breathtaking. With the end of the ship being a fixed part of the set, it was amazing to see how many different scenarios could be portrayed by changing props and lighting. After almost a whole show with this ship background, we arrive at the point in the story when the ill-fated ship upended, and this happens on stage, with the character Mr Andrews hanging from the railing before plummeting to his tragic death. It was immensely poignant and hard-hitting to see that actually happen.

Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Photo courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
To be honest, the words poignant and hard-hitting are the two that I keep coming back to time and time again when I've spoken about the performance since last night. Obviously, the subject matter is so tragic anyway, but to see it so beautifully performed and approached in such a delicate manner simply took my breath away. The different storylines that run alongside one another are all based on the lives of real people, which reiterates how very real the disaster was for people. The most poignant moment for me was when the characters who were lucky enough to be rescued shared their feelings about what had happened with a backdrop of the names of all the people who unfortunately lost their lives. It's seeing those names that really drives it home to you.

Overall, I loved this performance. It was educational, really letting you know how the disaster impacted the victims, in a poignant and delicate manner. Seeing it in Southampton, knowing the ship's ties to the city, just made it even more special to me.

I'd thoroughly recommend seeing it if you have the chance. Titanic The Musical is at Mayflower Theatre until Saturday 21st April - you can book tickets online or by phoning the Box Office on 02380 711811.

Love Lexie

*My ticket for the performance was complimentary in return for a review, but all views are honest and my own.

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