Titanic The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review:
**** 4 Stars
“A Sweeping Testament to a Human Tragedy”
The events of April 15th 1912 still resonate one hundred and four years later, there can be no one who does not know the word Titanic and the immense human tragedy that cost over 1500 souls lost to the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
James Cameron’s 1997 movie hit came hot on the tails of this powerful, emotional and graceful musical by Peter Stone and Maury Yeston and it finally gets a long overdue professional tour of the UK and this week Titanic the musical pays a visit to Edinburgh’s Playhouse.
Director Thom Sautherland has put together an ensemble of 25 performers who are universally vocally brilliant as they power through a score that is at times sweeping as it intimate and often almost operatic aided brilliantly by Musical Director Mark Aspinall and his off stage orchestra.
The cast are a true troupe of west end performers so picking individuals out is tricky and difficult but from my viewing Judith Street and Dudley Rogers who play Ida and Isidor Straus are a true stand out, there ability put across a love that has sustained them through the years to the point there willing to meet there fate together is a moment of raw emotion that moves the audience to tears especially during their duet on the song “Still”.
The staging of the show is inventive with Set and Costume Designer David Woodhead delivering a steal and iron clad stage with the splendour of Titanic’s decks. This is a production that relies on the cast to tell the story dispensing with special effects and making the performance all the more human, however the decision to have the cast coming and going through the stalls audience several times does wear a tad thin but offers some of those in the stalls a chance get up close to the stunning costumes. The production hit’s an emotional home run as it deals with sinking (stage incredible effectively) and it’s after math.
Titanic the musical is an engaging sweeping testament to a human tragedy the resonates all these years later, the biggest of dreams so often have a terrible cost and this musical takes you to heart of mans follies in choosing to believe Titanic was unsinkable. That alone makes this a production to see so get those tickets and board Titanic before it leaves Edinburgh.
Titanic the Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse, Runs until Saturday 16th June for tickets go to http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/titanic-the-musical/edinburgh-playhouse/