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David Porter » Reviews » Titanic


Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society at the Theatre Royal, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 29 January 2008


If you think the sinking of the Titanic is a strange subject for a musical, you’re in good company. However, with such quality performing and all the human interest you want, it’s a great show.

It’s full of mini tales about real people, though the relentless inevitability of the ship being pushed ever faster while iceberg warnings keep coming in, is the big story.

It is compelling. The music and songs convey the impending disaster right into your heart.

Jeremy Tustin, the director, captures the sense of tragic destiny against the folly of people believing the largest moving object on earth couldn’t sink.

Geoffrey Davidson conducts a magnificent orchestra that swells into the revamped Theatre Royal just beautifully.

The long first half sets sail with cameo building climaxing in the terrible crunch as the iceberg hits. The second half accelerates as fate sends some into lifeboats and some to die. Suddenly the contrast between first and second class passengers count for nothing. It’s every man for himself.

The captain (John McInnes) plays it world weary until suddenly the enormity of the calamity weighs him down.

It’s a minor masterpiece of musical theatre. It’s a major hit for the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society.

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