Titanic the Musical, Birmingham Hippodrome - review and pictures
“If you’re expecting the James Cameron film, you’re going to be disappointed.”
These were the words of Walsall-born director Thom Southerland before he launched Titanic the Musical at the Birmingham Hippodrome for the first time last night.
And he was right: anyone who had seen the 1997 blockbuster needed to forget everything they knew about the romantic love story of Jack and Rose and instead open themselves up to a wealth of brand new characters - and a brand new story.
Written by Maury Yeston and Peter Stone, this musical performance was enchanting; the first half full of dancing, singing and merriment, the second half brimming with emotion. While you never became attached to any particular character - as there were so many - each one was still easily likeable, which caused a pang of sadness when you knew what was still to come; this was one performance where everybody already knew the end of the story.
Despite this there was still an air of mystery about how the directors and actors would tackle the devastating few moments on board the Titanic. How do you successfully pull that off in a theatre without the use of CGI or stuntmen?
But the directors kept it simple. The use of powerful lighting and an impressive stage display meant audience members really were pulled up close into the passengers’ final hours on board.
However, the final, moving scenes felt a little short compared to a long first half of introducing each character - and the actual sinking of the ship was almost rushed.
But the audience seemed to collectively understand how incredibly difficult it was to turn an infamous true, tragic story into an all-singing, all-dancing musical, and seemed delighted the directors handled it with taste and class.
Titanic was an enjoyable, refreshing performance with wonderful acting from the entire cast.
One to watch out for if you’re looking for something a little bit different.