Review by Aksharaa Agarwal
‘Titanic: the movie, the play’ was a delight on a Saturday evening.
For an hour, Sydneysiders can forget their southern-hemisphere bearings and, with a little imagination, truly be present in the world of the iconic blockbuster. We’ve all at some point thought, ‘I wonder what it would be like to live in the world of Titanic’, and this is the perfect little opportunity. (We’ve also all at some point thought, ‘Why couldn’t Rose have moved over just a little?’ so this is exactly the chance to see whether history repeats itself, or whether destinies can change!) There’s also a surprise appearance from an iconic, albeit annoying Canadian singer -not without the local flair of course; and from another relic of the bygone era, the era of the 90s that is, which makes me think that the nostalgia is truly here to stay.
The cast really does an amazing job at balancing interactive, spontaneous theatre, while also maintaining the cannon of the film’s plot, allure, and dialogue. Yes, they do say ‘draw me like one of your French girls’ for all the fanatics who have the lines memorized. It’s a revamp on a budget that actually manages to make this story something the audience can participate in, so it’s easy to forgive the lack of Hollywood scale production value, for anybody expecting it. The most exciting part of the experience was realizing that in this production, the audience is the most important prop.
Also, for reasons obvious to any of the movie buffs whose eye the title has caught, this play is not exactly the most child-friendly adaptation (unless you’re being hip and open-minded- but seriously, consider going with friends instead.)There is that one scene that the original film is known for…it’s worth going just to see how they’ve adapted it for the stage!
From the get-go one is warmed up and welcomed into the story for the night, and it really sets the tone for how lightly and smoothly the play runs. It truly speaks to the cast’s talent, dedication, and their maturity in being engaging showmen- many of them don different capes, wigs and accents, and towards the end, even an iceberg. Rest assured, they do it all tremendously and with flair.
This play is a comedic re-do, so don’t bother with the tissues you needed when you first watched the film. Just prepare for your cheeks to hurt a little. There wasn’t a single minute that passed without laughter erupting from the gathered audience. The jokes are simple but well timed, well delivered, and truly get to you. I didn’t even notice as the time passed by- the hours of the source material blended into the minutes of the play- and even after the ship inevitably sank, the audience demanded an encore.
Sitting in the apportioned area of the Maritime museum’s splendid outdoors, with a little bit of imagination and spirit (of which there was an abundance on Saturday evening), the little makeshift ship prow might as well be the one in the iconic movie posters; the cloth gathered at its base might as well be the icy waves of the northern Atlantic; and if the actors catch your eye, among other things, you might just get to be Rose for the night.