- Dates: 21st – 25th February 2006
- Venue: Gala Theatre
- Director: Fred Wharton
- Musical Director: Paul Wood
- Choreographer: Janet Dixon
TITANIC begins – Prologue as Thomas Andrews, the architect of the great ship, pores over the blueprints of his design – In Every Age. The curtain then rises to reveal the Ocean Dock in Southampton, England, where people are gathering to wonder at and to board the ship on sailing day: first a stoker – How Did They Build Titanic?, then additional crewmen – There She Is, officers and stevedores – Loading Inventory, the owner, the architect and the captain – The Largest Moving Object, the Third and Second Class passengers – I Must Get On That Ship, and finally the First Class passengers – The 1st Class Roster. Now fully boarded, the ship pulls out as the company sings a prayerful farewell –Godspeed Titanic.
One by one, the dreams and aspirations of key characters are presented: Barrett, the stoker who wanted to get away from the coal mines – Barrett’s Song; Murdoch, the ship’s officer contemplating the responsibility of command – To Be a Captain; Kate McGowan and the Third Class passengers who yearn for a better life in America – Lady’s Maid; Chief Steward Etches and the millionaires he serves who exult in the wonders of their world – What a Remarkable Age This Is!
Barrett finds his way to the Telegraph Room where he dictates a proposal of marriage to his sweetheart back home – The Proposal in a telegram transmitted by Harold Bride, a young telegraph operator smitten with the possibilities of the new radio technology – The Night Was Alive.
The next day, April 14, after Sunday morning church service, the First Class attends the shipboard band’s spirited out-of-doors dance-concert – Hymn/Doing the Latest Rag, an exclusive event crashed by Second Class passenger Alice Beane, a hardware store owner’s wife who wants more out of life – I Have Danced. That evening, as Fleet the lookout scans the horizon – No Moon and bandsman Hartley regales the First Class Smoking Room with a new song – Autumn, the ship sails inexorably towards her collision, which ends Act One.
Act Two opens as the suddenly awakened First and Second Class passengers are assembled in the Grand Salon – Dressed In Your Pyjamas In The Grand Salon for life-belt instruction by Chief Steward Etches, before being sent up to the Boat Deck to board the lifeboats. In the Telegraph Room, Captain Smith, Mr. Andrews and Mr. Ismay, the owner, argue over who is responsible for the disaster – The Blame while Mr. Bride tirelessly sends out the S.O.S. Up on the Boat Deck, the male passengers are separated from their families – To the Lifeboats, and all express hopes of being reunited – We’ll Meet Tomorrow as the final boat is lowered. Isidor Straus (the owner of Macy’s) and his wife Ida remain behind together, as she refuses to leave his side after 40 years of marriage – Still and Mr. Etches utters a prayer – To Be a Captain (reprise). In the abandoned Smoking Room, Thomas Andrews desperately redesigns his ship to correct its fatal flaws until the futility of his actions leads him to predict, in horrifying detail, the end of TITANIC just as she begins her now-inevitable descent – Mr. Andrews’ Vision.
In an Epilogue, the survivors picked up by the CARPATHIA numbly retell what had once been Mr. Andrews’ dream – In Every Age (reprise). The living are joined by their lost loved-ones in a tableau recapturing the optimistic spirit of the Ocean Dock on sailing day – Finale.
- E.J. Smith: Captain – Olly Burton
- William Murdoch: First Officer – Alan Ball
- Charles Lightoller: Second Officer – Jonathan Taylor
- Herbert J. Pitman: Third Officer – Graeme Walton
- Frederick Barrett: Stoker – David O’Donnell
- Harold Bride: Wireless Operator – Sam Lupton
- Henry Etches: Senior First Class Steward – Laurence Scott
- Frederick Fleet: Lookout – Ben Prudhoe
- Robert Hitchens: Quartermaster – Tony Harries
- Bellboy – Christopher Smith
Passengers Aboard RMS Titanic
- J Bruce Ismay – Clark Adamson
- Thomas Andrews – Anthony Smith
- Isidor Straus – Clive Constance
- Ida Straus – Audrey Robson
- John Jacob Astor – Ian Wells
- Madeleine Astor – Anouska Drion
- Benjamin Guggenheim – Peter Clapham
- Mme Aubert – Gillian Lavin
- John B Thayer – Rob Gair
- Marion Thayer – Margaret Graham
- Jack Thayer – Cameron Moore
- George Widener – Trevor Dawson
- Eleanor Widener – Sue Robinson
- Charlotte Cardeza – Valenda Taylor
- J H Rogers – Graeme Walton
- The Major – Tony Harries
- Edgar Beane – Mike Dixon
- Alice Beane – Delia McNally
- Charles Clarke – Geoff Knott
- Caroline Neville – Nikki Hellmuth
- Kate McGowan – Katy Walton
- Kate Murphey – Catherine Finn
- Kate Mullins – Rebecca Turner
- Jim Farrell – Tony Gardiner
- Frank Carlson – Trevor Dawson
Other Passengers and Crew
Adam Bailey, Ruth Ball, Alison Banks, Denise Beckford, Hazel Bone, Liz Cairns, Elizabeth Clapham, Rose Cleasby, Jennifer, Doreen Cothay, Bridget Coulter, John Cuckson, Harry Dallard, Brian Davidson, Anthony Dixon, Janet Dixon, Christine Dobbie, Pam Drion, Jonathan Gilderoy, Barbara Gray, Rebecca Grundy, Emma, Richard Hall, Bill Harland, Hazel Harle, Helen Harries, Mollie Hughes, June Lavin, Catherine Laws, Guy Lawes, Emma Mole, Emily, Elise, Stephanie Morton, Robin Murray, Derek Smith, John Smith, Luke, Steve Stephens, Diedre Tyrrell, Pat Walker, Sam Wilkinson, Michelle Willis, Stuart Wright.
Sue Heath – Northern Echo – 27/02/2006
THE unsinkable Durham Musical Theatre Company takes on Maury Yeston’s relatively new musical version of the Titanic story, and the company rises to the challenge with admirable professionalism.
Not knowing anything about the piece I had no idea what to expect – would there be water sloshing about? Would the female lead come tripping down the steps to the bridge in tap shoes?
I have to say that I was taken by surprise and completely bowled over. The piece manages to be inspiring, dignified and entertaining all at once; there are lighter moments provided by Delia McNally as socially ambitious Alice Beane, and the Irish jig scene in Steerage is jolly.
But it’s the ensemble pieces that really raise the goosebumps – 80 people belting out the almost hymn-like music is riveting stuff. Among the very fine voices, Anthony Smith and young Sam Lupton particularly stood out.
The acting and movement on stage were first-class, generating genuine emotion in the audience.
Towards the end of the first half, as the great ship approaches the iceberg, passengers are on deck in evening clothes as the lookout scans the seas.
The ominous music rises to a crescendo and the tension and sense of foreboding are real, even though you know what’s coming: it’s almost a relief as the cry goes up ‘Iceberg dead ahead!’. There’s great poignancy in Still, a love song from elderly Isidor and Ida Straus, and a moment when a child stands bewildered, with a model of the ship in his hands.
The performance takes nearly three hours, longer than it took the actual Titanic to sink, and it’s hugely impressive.
Fred Piggford (NODA Councillor) – Northern NODA News – August 2006
The front cover of the programme says ‘Titanic, The Sensational Musical’ and that was certainly no idle boast, for this production by Durham and Fred Wharton lived up to every part of its billing.
Right from the start of the overture I was enthralled by the whole experience. A Fred Wharton production is always a pleasure to see, but this production was a masterpiece.
Emotions see-sawed throughout this production, which was packed with pathos, power and drama. The casting, sets, costumes, lighting, and sound were superb.
The music, in the hands of new Musical Director, Paul Wood, with so many in the cast was sensational. Many, many congratulations to Fred, Paul, Janet, and the company on an unforgettable experience.
I look forward to your interpretation of ‘Company’.
Ian Wells (NODA President) – ‘Titanic’ Accolade – October 2006
I have just got back from the NODA National Conference at Eastbourne, when Eric Smart relinquished his chain of office to his successor at the A.G.M.
I thought you would like to know that, in his closing speech, he nominated Durham’s ‘Titanic‘ as the best show he had seen out of the 141 he had attended in his Presidential year – quite an accolade.
It was certainly an opinion he voiced to me several times during his year, though always with the rider ‘until now’.
Well, his year is over and he is obviously still of the same opinion.