Titanic Review - Northern Echo
Titanic: The Musical, Durham Gala Theatre
by Sue Heath
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.
Published: 27/02/2006 in the Northern Echo
Titanic Review - Northern NODA News
by the NODA Councillor Fred Piggford
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’.
Published: August 2006 in the Northern NODA News
NODA President 'Titanic' Accolade
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.
by Ian Wells - October 2006
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