Last month I ventured to see a new musical and completely fell in love with it. Here are my top 3 reasons to see it and share in the theatre magic too.
- The theatre
Charing Cross theatre is a charming little subterranean theatre hidden in the Arches just off Villiers Street in Central London. It’s a very intimate space with just shy of 300 seats and a petite stage to fill. The walls of the auditorium have period arches given away by the name of the road, which add a charming character to the underground space. Throughout the performance you can hear the rattle of trains and feel the rumble of their wheels passing above and below you. Although unusual at first this adds to the ambience of the production and provides an atmosphere unique from that of many other theatres around the country. The Charring Cross Theatre is a must visit location if you’re looking for something that extra bit special in our beautiful capital.
- The score
If your kind of musical features a killer soundtrack that sends goose bumps racing up and down your arms from the second the music strikes up, pop down to the Thames and under the arches. Magnificent and overwhelming the notes envelope and fold you into the story. It’s a wonder how this incredible score has managed to lay undetected for this length of time.
- The message
Far from being a stage adaptation of the popular 1997 romantic blockbuster, this musical details the lives of ordinary passengers who boarded that fated vessel back in 1914. The harrowing experiences of all social classes were explored as we’re the different ways they faced loss – all classes lost loved ones not just the third class passengers although their losses were far more substantial than any others on board. Most interestingly for me the theories surrounding who was “to blame” were explored which is completely omitted from the stories of the Titanic that we are most familiar with.
The characters were likeable, relatable and refreshingly human. The likes of Rob Houchen (Les Misérables) and Claire Machin (Memphis) feature in this production – it’s always lovely to see some stagey favourites when you see a show that is new to you.
Put quite simply, the Titanic is a shipwreck of emotions. I was astounded at how effectively the story was portrayed on stage without a single drop of water, unless you count the tears shed by both the audience and the cast. The musical spoke to me in a way that I have not experienced for a very long time. Something clicked inside and I was totally immersed. What I felt for the duration of the show was nothing short of genuine sorrow.
The last 10 minutes were the most emotional few minutes I have ever spent inside a theatre auditorium. Lines of dialogue were punctuated with the sounds of sobbing from around the auditorium which continued after the curtain call and outside of the theatre. However the final, fatal punch to the tear ducts came from a single canvas sheet. This musical is truly special and really hammers home that there are real people behind the story and the legend. I only wish this beautiful musical could be given the stage it deserves.
Showing at the Charing Cross Theatre, London for a limited time only