Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Titanic reunion

I was very excited to receive my first writing assignment earlier this week. I’ve been writing for HerCanberra for a few months now, contributing reviews and opinion pieces as they occur to me. And at the start of the week my editor Amanda asked if I was interested in going to the final dress rehearsal of Titanic the Musical to review it.

I jumped at the chance, a few years ago my friend Daniel and I were discussing what was the least likely subject for a musical and both agreed the sinking of the Titanic was it.

Always up for a challenge, our thoughts next turned to penning the score, culminating in our showstopper number “There’s an iceberg, there’s an iceberg, DEAD AHEAD, DEAD AHEAD!”

We even had a jaunty dance to go with it. Our friend Alex walked past, shaking her head slowly. “Stop encouraging her,” she ordered Daniel, knowing my tendency to break into song and dance without provocation.

We were a bit chastened to discover Titanic the Musical was already an established Broadway show and Tony winner.

And here was the chance to see it for myself. So I rocked on up to the ANU Arts, introduced myself to the publicity manager who asked if I had a camera with me. I knew there was something I forgot. It reminded me of the times Alex and I used to get invited to press launches for artistic events, turning up for the champagne and not even bothering to take notes pads.

At least this time I had pen and paper so I took a seat in the theatre as the cast were performing sound checks. I started making some notes, head down, in serious reviewer mode, when I head my name. My head snapped up and I looked around to see who was calling me.

There in the cast line up was the Rogers to my Hammerstein: Daniel.

And so followed a sequence of comically surprised gesticulations and mouthing of “What are YOU doing here?” Daniel’s question was understandable at least, whereas his appearance on stage in Edwardian costume should have given me an early clue. Especially since I’ve seen him in other productions.

Then in a moment of perfect synchronicity Daniel and I launched into a mimed version of our very own, original, showstopper, silently belting out “There’s an iceberg, there’s an iceberg, DEAD AHEAD!",  complete with choreographed hand movements.

I’m sure the Tony Awards committee will be calling us any minute now to give us our long overdue recognition. You’ll all be invited to the after party.

If you’re in Canberra, go check out the production of Titanic the Musical at the ANU Arts Centre, playing from 15 April to 5 May. Here's the review and pics I managed to snap on my camera-phone...


  1. This really looks like a great show!

  2. Hi Chococuro, it was fantastic, and I highly recommend it. I had gone in being a bit cynical about all the Titanic related dramas that are around this month, enough 'to sink a ship' I caustically told myself. But I was very moved by the play, and not just becaue a friend of mine was in it. It made me think about the passengers aboard as real people, not just characters in a story, and I started to wonder what I would do in the same situation.