top of page

Titanic! As prevalent now as it was 111 years ago

Titanic! As prevalent now as it was 111 years ago when it departed Belfast for what can only be described as a memorable voyage

This is my 3rd time seeing the Musical, I watched it when it was previously at the GOH and I seen a local production in Banbridge a few years ago, saying that my memory of the story and music is somewhat vague, I can’t recall specifics in the story nor do any songs spring to mind therefore I am going in with an open mind and ready to set sail.

I need to burst a few bubbles and expel some misconceptions, It's a fair statement that 99% of the audience who come to watch already know the outcome of the story, yet are not aware this is not a retelling of the Jack & Rose story we all were captivated with in James Cameron's movie in the 90’s and you will not hear Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’. Yeston and Stone’s story is populated around real-life passengers, crew and their relationships. The sub-plots contained within the ship’s demise are what makes this musical an emotional affair.

We arrived ahead of time to enjoy a catchup and chat with other theatregoers though unfortunately it wasn’t smooth sailing, it was approximately 7.55pm before the show started, 25 mins later than planned due to technical difficulties. This didn't bother me too much as I'm somewhat of a chatterbox lol i did however feel for the actor who was placed on stage to set the scene ready to kick off the show, he must have been there for an hour, bravo to him for persevering.

Lights up, let's dive into what you can expect in this ‘Titanic’ production, from the get go we are reminded of what a colossal ship Titanic was, as the actors arrive on stage they are in awe looking at the sheer size, with the expressions on their faces and the excitement in their voices you can really imagine the ship towering above them.

The opening scenes are an extended exposition featuring the full company, I did attempt to count the actors on stage at a guess there must have been at least 25 which is pretty unheard of for touring companies, though much needed in my opinion.

All three ‘classes’ are represented, and their divisions are obvious – 3rd class who are cramped in steerage dream of a new life in America while living on board with vermin, the 2nd class who feel superior to steerage yearn to be rubbing shoulders with the millionaires and celebrities who are sailing 1st class and the upper class who aren't really aware of what is happening below pass their time boasting and toasting their accomplishments while chumming up with the captain.

Although packed with many great musical numbers I felt the first half was kind of static, at times like a concert rather than a musical, on reflection this was part of the plan and gearing the audience up.

Where Titanic the Musical excels is how it captures the rawness of the tragedy, no more so than when the crack of the ship hitting the iceberg brought down the curtain at the end of Act One there was a highly audible gasp from the audience.

Act 2 was an intense hour, I was completely captivated and invested in the passengers we now know.

While there may be no ‘big name’ stars, every cast member performed with passion and professionalism, they were of course at their mightiest when in full voice, though there were many lovely individual performances, including Joseph Peacock as an eager Bellboy and Luke Harley a worker from the boiler room, who longed for his beloved he left back in England, he had such a lovely voice and some great numbers.

I must also mention the touching story of Isidor and Ida Straus, (beautifully played by David Delve and Valda Aviks) an elderly couple still very much in love after many years. Their refusal to be parted as the ship goes down tugged at everyone's heart strings, more than a few people had tears in their eyes.

The musical score was nothing short of epic, it reminded me of the miners in Billy Elliott and Les Mis with boats not barricades. It was sombre when necessary though there were plenty of lighter moments and a touch of humour

The show lasts 2 hours and 40 minutes (including the interval) – the same time it took the Titanic to sink after hitting the iceberg. The first act was around 85 minutes which, perhaps, was rather too long but the second, dramatic act was just right.

Titanic the Musical is so powerful with excellent performances from a talented cast, those who go to watch will be treated to some truly moving scene’s and songs.

Titanic the Musical is running at The Grand Opera House, Belfast until Saturday, tickets are available via


bottom of page