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Review: TITANIC: THE MOVIE, THE PLAY at Queensland Maritime Museum

By Josie Montano & Robert McLachlan

Brisbane’s Act/React company took us on a hilarious voyage last night, as they delivered a comical version with a twist of improvisation on the pop-culture classic, Titanic. Act/React specialise in interactive and pop culture comedic performances, and having performed all over Australia, we are lucky to claim them as a local Brissie theatre company of performers.

We are so glad we didn’t miss the boat and were able to experience a part of the annual Brisbane Anywhere Festival, which literally showcases performances anywhere other than the usual mainstream stage. This year a multitude of off the board venues hosted theatrical performances ie: within private homes, on board a bus, in a basement, on school grounds, in botanical gardens, a garage, in a church, even at restaurants and bars, as well as the Old Government House. The creators of Titanic: The Movie, The Play cleverly partnered with the Queensland Maritime Museum, an apt and fitting venue to present this comedy hit.

The play is a recreation of the hit movie of the 90’s, and is an uproarious send-up from the beginning where the audience are invited to view the shipwreck from a submarine, to the end where we find out who survives and who drowns, trying not to give away spoilers … we may or may not have filled the lifeboats. Audience participation occurs throughout the show with lively witty results and cast improvise so that these interactions play integral parts of the show.

The very talented Natalie Bochenski not only co-wrote the script and co-directed but also performed as the elderly ‘Old Rose’ character who provided the narration which tied the story together. ‘Old Rose’ chose audience members (not always females!) throughout the evening to fill the role of her younger self, and those chosen were guided by the adept cast to carry the story forward. It was a delight to see Elizabeth Best play Molly Brown, after recently seeing her in Cluedo as Madam Peacock. The cast of nine including Daren King as Jack, and Drew Lochrie as Billy Zane played over a dozen roles with some quick changes and a seamless transition from one role to another. Scott Driscoll who admirably played the role of Captain was also responsible for the artistic set and prop design, together with Daren King.

We attended the second show as the first show of the evening was a sell out. Following the spirit of the Anywhere Festival the show was held on the grounds of the Queensland Maritime Museum, out in the open under a glorious Brisbane night-sky near the Good Will bridge. This play is not only a tribute to the Titanic, but is a little like the love-child of Gilligan's Island and McHale’s Navy - an extremely funny and entertaining spectacle.

A portion of ticket funds are donated back to the Qld Maritime Museum, and even though the season is ending, if you see this performance ship of Titanic: The Movie, The Play set sail again in the future, get on board!

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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