Theatre review: Titanic The Musical moves Blackpool audience to tears in powerful production at the Grand in March 2023
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25 years ago I watched James Cameron’s Titanic so many times that I could recite the film word for word.When I saw the musical was coming to Blackpool it brought back a sense of fond nostalgia for a story that I have long found captivating for many reasons.
Going into the theatre with moderate expectations (how can they portray one of history’s biggest disasters on the stage?) I left eating my words and not even trying to fight back my tears – as everyone around me appeared to be equally moved by this incredibly poignant tribute.
Unlike the movie, the characters in this production are all based on the real passengers who were on board the doomed cruise liner.
To the super-rich, this giant floating city represented the future – the politics and the pressures to increase speed and make headlines would prove its downfall. Yet, I can’t help but marvel at the decadent dresses and extravagance of the era – even if it is largely left to our imaginations.
But so many of the passengers in second and third class did not end up in the history books – but who knows what they would have done in future? To Kate McGowan (played by Blackpool-born Lucie-Mae Sumner) and her fellow migrants, the ship represented hope for a new life in America. To be a ‘Lady’s Maid’ - or an engineer – they boarded full of dreams and this show gives us an idea of what strong and brave people they were.
The most moving part is the enduring love between Ida and Isidor Straus played by Valds Aviks and David Delve – a woman who refuses to leave her beloved husband, as she can’t see a reason to live without him. They performed their vocal duet ‘Still’ so beautifully I had goosepimples.
It’s packed with so many memorable songs it feels operatic in scope, and the production and special effects are outstanding.
1,500 souls drowned on April 15, 1912, and this poignant tribute keeps the tragedy in our memories. On it’s ten year anniversary tour, Titanic The Musical left a powerful lasting impression at Blackpool Grand.