at King’s Theatre

* * * - -

Poignant moments, impressive ensemble numbers in this commendable, if too lengthy, production.

Image of Titanic

On 15 April 1912, the Olympic class ocean liner, Titanic, sank in one of the world’s worst ever maritime disasters. The story of that fateful night is well-known and has been the inspiration for many films and books in the last 100 years. Now, at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, the Southern Light Opera Company have taken their production of the famous story to the stage.

It is a huge cast that takes on the challenge and there are certainly moments of impressive feat, such as the group ensemble numbers, the poignant final scene when the names of all those who died on the passage to America are projected onto the backdrop and some wonderful individual performances.

Each cast member takes on the name of a genuine passenger or staff member from the 1912 sailing which adds an authenticity to proceedings, with particular mention needed for those playing the comedy duo Alice and Edgar Beane (Judith Walker and Stephen Boyd) and third class Irish passenger Kate McGowan (Nicole Graham).

Unfortunately, not everyone in the cast seems in control of their performance with a little bit more line learning and singing practice needed for some. They have a few days to get this right, however, what may need a little more time is making the cast comfortable with choreography and movement. Many cast members look like they would rather be doing anything else when asked to put together footwork and when the cast don’t look confident the audience too start to feel uneasy.

The costumes and scene changes transport everyone back into 1912 and as an amateur production the amount of work that has gone in to putting this all together is truly evident.

It is too long. There are scenes which could easily be chopped and songs which added nothing to this quirky take on an infamous tragedy. But, the cast put on a commendable show, which is performed in honour of sadly departed cast member, Mark Hewitt, who was due to play Third Officer Herbert Pitman in the show.