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Review: Plain sailing in Sheffield for impressive musical based on Titanic disaster

Titanic the Musical
Titanic the Musical
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It’s testament to the power of the Titanic story that, even though we know how it ends, it is still a shock when the cry goes up “iceberg ahead!”.

We are silently willing the captain to heed the warnings, change course, slow down, or do anything to avert disaster. But of course none of that happens, and over 1,500 people lose their lives, writes Helen Johnston.

The simplicity of this production makes the collision all the more dramatic. The set barely changes throughout, providing a sturdy backdrop to the tumultuous events on board.

Writer Maury Yeston based all the characters on real people who boarded the ill-fated ship which set sail from Southampton on April 10 1912, which makes the final scenes all the more poignant. We meet Captain Edward Smith (Philip Rham) and crew and passengers from all three classes. Alice Beane (Claire Machin) in second class but desperate to mingle in first class, and the three Kates from Ireland in third class. The singing was powerful and moving throughout, conveying the excitement of being on board this luxurious feat of engineering, and then sweeping through the emotions to the final heartbreak of tragedy. A compelling memorial to those who lost their lives.

The show is at Sheffield Lyceum until Saturday, May 26