'Titanic:  The Musical'

'Lazenby Hall, UNE -May/June 2008

Stage Direction by George Torbay 
Musical Direction by Bruce Menzies
Produced by Neil Horton

Story and Book by Peter Stone. Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston. Produced on Broadway by Dodger Theatricals, Richard S. Pechter and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

SYNOPSIS

RMS Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world at the time of her launching. During her maiden voyage, she struck an iceberg on Sunday evening, 14/4/1912, and sank 2 hours 40 minutes later, resulting in the deaths of more than 1500 people. Titanic used the most advanced technology available at the time and was popularly believed to be “unsinkable”.

The ship began her voyage from Southampton, England, bound for New York City, USA, with Captain Edward Smith in command. She had an extensive electrical subsystem with steam powered generators feeding electric lights. She also boasted two wireless Marconi sets, including a powerful 1500 watt radio manned by operators who worked in shifts, allowing constant contact and the transmission of many passenger messages.

Titanic had three class sections segregating the passengers. Third Class, comprised of small cabins on the lower decks, was occupied mostly by immigrants hoping for a better life in America. Second Class cabins and common rooms were equal to First Class accommodation on other ships. Many Second Class passengers were originally booked on other ships but, because of a coal strike, transferred to Titanic.

Some of the most prominent people in the world were travelling in First Class. These included millionaire J J Astor and wife: industrialist Guggenheim: Macy’s owner Isidor Strauss and wife: George Widener and wife: John Thayer and wife and son: journalist William Stead and others. Also travelling First Class were White Star Line’s Managing Director, J B Ismay, who came up with the idea for Titanic, and the ship’s builder Thomas Andrews, who was on board to monitor any problems with the new ship.

Factors contributing to the sinking: The speed of the ship was excessive at the time of impact and this was attributed to J B Ismay’s insistence that the ship go faster in order to make an early landing.

There were not enough lifeboats for all of the people on board. Titanic had room for 3,547 passengers and her lifeboat capacity was 1,178. In the busy North Atlantic sea lanes, it was expected that the emergency response from other vessels would be rapid and the lifeboats would only be used to ferry people between vessels.

Not acting quickly enough after the collision hindered people’s chances of survival. The first lifeboat was launched with only 12 people aboard instead of its capacity of 40. Lifeboats 6, 7 and 8, each of which could hold 65, were launched with only 28 on board. It is speculated that fear of small boats and over confidence in the ship’s ability to remain afloat led to delays in boarding the lifeboats. Chivalry by passengers and crew with “women and children first” became synonymous with the Titanic.

It is possible that if Titanic had not altered its course, but reversed its engines and had run head on into the iceberg, the damage would only have affected the first or first two compartments. However, reversing the rotation was not instantaneous and may not have been possible in the short time between sighting and impact.

Faults in construction and materials meant that the watertight bulkheads had not completely sealed the ship’s compartments. The safety doors were poorly constructed, the steel brittle, and the rivets that held the hull plating together varied in quality. In 1912, welding technology was still in its infancy. The sinking of the Titanic has an enduring fascination across time, and shook European self-confidence to the core. Thomas Hardy was moved to write a poem on the collision of the ship with the massive iceberg and the mighty Titanic’s rapid and complete destruction. He concludes:

Till the Spinner of the Years
Said ‘Now!’ And each one hears
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

MUSICAL NUMBERS

ACT I

'Prologue: In Every Age' - Thomas Andrews
'How Did They Build Titanic?' - Frederick Barrett
'There She Is' - Frederick Barrett, Harold Bride, Frederick Fleet, crewmen
'Loading Inventory' - Stevedore, Herbert J Pitman, Captain Smith, ship’s personnel
'The Largest Moving Object' - J Bruce Ismay, Captain Smith, Thomas Andrews
'I Must Get On That Ship' - Herbert J Pitman, second and third class passengers
'The First Class Roster' - Alice Beane
'Godspeed Titanic' - Company
'Barrett’s Song' - Frederick Barrett
'The Glinka #1' - Alice Beane, Edgar Beane
'The Glinka #2' - Caroline Neville, Charles Clarke
'What a Remarkable Age This Is!' - Henry Etches, staff and first class diners
'Lady’s Maid' - Kate McGowan, Kate Murphey, Kate Mullins, steerage passengers
'The Proposal' - Frederick Barrett
'The Night Was Alive' - Harold Bride
'Hymn' - Company
'Doing the Latest Rag' - Wallace Hartley, Robert Hitchens, Joseph Bell, Alice Beane, first class passengers, staff
'I Have Danced' - Alice Beane, Edgar Beane
'No Moon #1' - Frederick Fleet, company
'Autumn' - Wallace Hartley
'No Moon #2' - Frederick Fleet, company

Act II

'Wake up, Wake up!' - Henry Etches, Herbert J Pitman, Stewards, company
'Dressed in Your Pyjamas in the Grand Salon' - Henry Etches, first and second class passengers
'The Staircase' - Kate McGowan, Jim Farrell, Kate Murphey, Kate Mullins
'The Blame' - J Bruce Ismay, Thomas Andrews, Captain Smith
'To the Lifeboats' - Company
'We’ll Meet Tomorrow' - Company, Frederick Barrett, Charles Clarke
'Still' - Isidor Straus, Ida Straus
'Mr Andrews’ Vision' - Thomas Andrews
'Finale: In Every Age' - Company
'Finale: Godspeed Titanic' - Company

DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE

There she is...
Towering high 
Broad and grand…
Ship of dreams!

My mother is a great storyteller. She can spin you a tale filled with high drama better than anyone I have ever met. The dinner table in my family home was a rich, wonderful and noisy place. She also has a great appreciation for a good story. As children, she would often tell us that her favourite film was the old Hollywood re-telling of the Titanic tragedy - A Night To Remember. “Ooo, I love that film”, she’d say and we would then be told the whole story from beginning to end.

She loved the story of Ida Straus - a first class passenger who refused to leave her husband of forty years. A woman who uttered the now famous line, “Where you go, I go.” While her husband’s body was recovered after the disaster, hers was never found.

She would tell us of Bruce Ismay, the ship’s owner. A man of tremendous wealth, who forced his way onto a lifeboat while women and children perished and Thomas Andrews, the ship’s designer. A humble and honest man who did everything he could to assist others in getting to a lifeboat before he quietly locked himself in the first class smoke room to die alone.

She would tell us of the women in third class trapped behind locked doors who never had a chance; the men who dressed as women to try and secure a place in the lifeboats; the fifty bellboys who went to their deaths frightened and alone; and the musicians who kept playing their instruments to the very end.

No wonder she loves this story and no wonder our fascination with it never ends. There is just so much here. Set against the beautiful and rich musical score of Maury Yeston, Titanic – The Musical tries to capture these many stories.

It is no small feat to bring this wonderful show to the stage. What you are seeing is the work of a dedicated community. So many people have worked tirelessly to make it happen. Nights and weekends devoted to telling the story as honestly as we can.

If nothing else, my mother will love it!

CAST

Thomas Andrews, Architect of the Titanic: Greg Balcombe, Bruce J Ismay, The arrogant self-important owner of the Titanic: Brad Crook, Captain Edward J Smith: Waine Grafton, William Murdoch, 1st Officer: James Cooper, Charles Lightoller, 2nd Officer: Peter Norton, Herbert J Pitman, 3rd Officer: Mike Gibson, Joseph Boxhall, 4th Officer: Carsten Levisen, Frederick Barrett, Irish Stoker: Stephen Tall, Frederick Fleet, Lookout: Neil Horton, Harold Bride, Radioman: Simon Polson, Joseph Bell, Chief Engineer: Nicholas Worrell, Robert Hitchens, Quartermaster: Sam Payne, Stevedore: Rohan Vicars, Bellboy: James King

Stewards/Stewardesses: Henry Etches, 1st Class Steward: Warren Bartik, Andrew Latimer: Alan Wilkinson, Alec Watt, Anne Evered, Bruce Southcott, Carol Elder, Carsten Levisen, Constance Rolfe, David Sim, Garry Slocombe, Jennifer Greaney, Marney Tilley, Michelle Hobbs, Robyn Slocombe, Rohan Vicars

Musicians: Wallace Hartley: Andrew Busby, Bandsman Bricoux: Sam Payne, Bandsman Taylor: Nicholas Worrell

1st Class Passengers: Charlotte Cardoza, Mega-wealthy American: Norma Abey, Edith Corse Evans: Ingrid Rothe, Eleanor Widener, Wife of George Widener: Annie Abbott, Ida Straus, Wife of Isidor Straus: Claire Keoghan, Madeline Astor, 19 yr old second wife of J J Astor: Ellen Fitzgerald, Marion Thayer, Wife of John Thayer: Deborah King, Mme Aubert: Deidre Dalton, Benjamin Guggenheim: Methuen Morgan, Colonel John Jacob Astor: David Paterson, George Widener: Rob Tumeth, Isidor Straus, Owner of Macy's Department Store: Phil Oxley, John B Thayer: Darren Hepper, J H Rogers, Card player, disguised: Jim Harrop, The Major, Ex-military man full of stories: Richard Kiehne, Jack Thayer, Son of John and Marion Thayer: Alex King, Caitlin Driscoll, Caroline King, Caroline Tierney, Claudia Martin, Constance Rolfe, Eleanor Brazier, Elizabeth Hardy, Imogen Dean, Kylie Wanford, Laura Horton, Lindy Hardman, Neil Horton, Peta Bale, Rachael Bale, Ros Brady, Tara Riley

2nd Class Passengers: Alice Beane, American, Obsessed with the rich & famous: Tracey James, Caroline Neville, English, Eloped with Charles Clarke: Bethany Shepherd, Charles Clarke, Engaged to Caroline Neville, Middle-class, British: Michael Abbott, Edgar Beane, American, Long suffering husband of Alice: Howard Randell, Frank Carlson, Misses the boat: Jim Harrop

3rd Class Passengers: Kate McGowan, Irish, yearns for a better life in America: Ruth Strutt, Kate Mullins, Irish, yearns for a better life in America: Kate Jones, Kate Murphey: Irish, yearns for a better life in America: Emily Thomas-Moore, Jim Farrell, Irishman, Love interest of Kate McGowan: Jacob Horton, Alec Watt, Anne Evered, Annikki Reader, Barbara Colledge, Bruce Southcott, Caitlin Driscoll, Carol Elder, Caroline King, Caroline Tierney, Carsten Levisen, Claudia Martin, Constance Rolfe, Darren Hepper, David Paterson, David Sim, Deidre Dalton, Eleanor Brazier, Elizabeth Hardy, Garry Slocombe, Georgia Crook, Imogen Dean, Ingrid Rothe, Jennifer Greaney, Kylie Wanford, Laura Horton, Linda Bishop, Lindy Hardman, Maree Puxty, Marney Tilley, Methuen Morgan, Michelle Hobbs, Peta Bale, Rachael Bale, Richard Kiehne, Rob Tumeth, Robyn Slocombe, Ros Brady, Sally Maxwell, Sally Spillane, Sorcha Harrop, Tara Riley, Wax Thomson

Boys Ensemble: Callum Agnew, Harrison Abey, Nick Kelly, Ryan Jenkyn

ORCHESTRA

Keyboards: Robyn Bradley, Peter Maddox, Violins: Jhana Allen, Steven Ellison, Liz Ryan, Marina Reader, Bridie Walsh, Viola: Annie Chapman, Cello: Claire Chapman, Jess Allen, Bass: Arlene Fletcher, Flute: Sharon Davidge, Oboe: Graham Maddox, Clarinets: Chris Garden, Jane Growns, Bassoon: Alex Bell, Trumpets: Graham Howard, Mikayla Glover, Horns: Alastair Finco, Kerry Hawkins, Trombones: Dave Brown, Ben Keogh,Percussion: Murray Winton, Ben Horsley

PRODUCTION TEAM

Stage Director: George Torbay
Musical Director: Bruce Menzies
Assistant Director: Cathy Archer
Assistant Musical Director: Robyn Bradley
Choreographer: Tracey James 
Producer: Neil Horton
Set Concept & Design: Waine Grafton, Pat Bradley
Construction Managers: Pat Bradley, Colin Barry
Construction Crew: Alan Wilkinson, Alec Watt, Annie Abbott, Barbara Colledge, Bernie May, Bob Estreich, Brad Crook, Brian Helmrich, Bruce Southcott, Bruce Menzies, Carol Elder, Daphne McCurdy, Dave Hardman, David Paterson, Del Parker, Diana Helmrich, Ellen Fitzgerald, Gary Slocombe, Greg Balcombe, Hanneke Raanhuis, Haydon O'Brien, Howard Randell, Inge Southcott, Ingrid Rothe, James Cooper, Jim Harrop, Jody Brash, Methuen Morgan, Methuen Freer-Morgan, Mike Gibson, Neil Horton, Pam Menzies, Peter Hughes, Peter Maddox, Peter Norton, Phil Oxley, Ros Brady, Stephen Tall, Tracey James, Veronica Ponsaing, Waine Grafton, Warren Bartik
Set Dressers: Waine Grafton with Caitlin Grafton, Georgia Crook, Michaela Crook, Zac Grafton
Properties: Pam Menzies with Anna Churchill, Anya Glover, Daniel Cotter, Fay Hughes, Jeff Caster, Keira Bird
Stage Crew: Pat Bradley, Andrew McGrath, Christian Pearson, Corin Barry, Jeff Caster, Luke Pavel, Marg Kennedy
Costumes: Deborah King, Hanneke Raanhuis with Linda Bishop, Jeanette Meredith, Lexi Miller, Robyn Slocombe, Narelle Jackson, Vicki Wright, Barbara Colledge, Sian Roberts, Kate Jones, Lindy Hardman, Ros Brady
Lighting Design: Chris Snape of Sound Light 'n' Efex 
Lighting Operation: Diana Helmrich, Jen Mitchell
Sound: Luke Polson, David Percival, Claire Horton
Publicity: Marney Tilley, Denis Wright, Howard Randell, Pam Menzies, Warren Bartik
Promotions: Greg Balcombe, Ingrid Rothe
Graphics: Denis Wright
Photography: Terry Cooke, Denis Wright
Ticketing: Marg Kennedy
Make-up: Mike Gibson with Amie D’Costa, Carlee Bate, Carol Elder, Debbie Whitley, Elissa Streicher, Elizabeth Anderson, Gwen Holley, Helen Schwarz, Jessica Snell, Kerry David, Kim Simpson, Liz Tonnet, Rachel Gillespie, Raya Wilson, Sandra Eccles, Sharon Blenman, Terry Wightman
Hair: Lindy Hardman and Deirdre Dalton of Image 2 Dye 4 
Programme: Denis Wright, Marg Kennedy
Front of House: Sally Prowse, John Brady, John Hamel with Anne Cunningham, Ben Thorn, Bernie Cunningham, Beryl Hamel, Bettina Reader, Bev Jenkins, Bill Strutt, Cathie Lamont, Cathryn McCormack, Cecile Michels-Thorn, Clare Pascoe, Dave Currie, Diana Riley, Felix Burkhard, Frances Tafra, Heather Pavel, Heloise Fortin, Inge Southcott, Isabel Strutt, Jan Paterson, Jane Watt, Jean Freer, Jeanette Berman, Jody Brash, Maddy Clavert, Marg Kennedy, Methuen Freer-Morgan, Michelle Hastings, Pam Menzies, Pamela-Jane Prowse, Paul Reitano, Rachael Horton, Ros Brady, Duval & Armidale High school students
Autumn Festival: Marg Kennedy, Pam Menzies, Greg Rolfe and many participants on the day
Membership Secretary: Diana Helmrich
Treasurer: Bryce Little
Caterers: Dorothy Pollard, Jane Stening

THANKS

Jeff at Steelfarm for generosity with supplies for the Set, Armidale Building Supplies, Bill Strutt & 2ARM Community Radio for free air time, The Imperial Hotel for displaying our banner, Darren Hepper of Hungry Jack's for donation of bottles of water for the show, for supplying cast and crew with food and drink at working bees and for flying our banner, John and Joanne Diedrich of Sydney for the fabulous costumes, Those who travelled to and from Sydney to pack and transport the gear: Deb King, Neil Horton, Hanneke Raanhuis, Donna Wainohu and Claire Pascoe, Chris Snape for hire of his equipment, travelling to us and spending time to train our new lighting crew, Duval High School for loan of equipment, Judy Graham of Ben Venue Public School for the use of their hall as a rehearsal venue, Armidale Playhouse for loan of equipment and who in the true spirit of sister societies advertised our Show at “Stepping Out”, Gordon Cope and Michael Abbott for Audiovisual material, Trucks and manpower by Methuen Morgan, Kelly's Transport, Harley Payne, John Hamel and Greg Rolfe, Jane Horton who organised a lot of the Show at home with her computer skills and for being patient and tolerant while we’ve borrowed Neil, UNE for rehearsal space at the Old Teachers’ College for the Orchestra, Dunbar's Upholsterers for foam for the sixty-five life jackets, Elizabeth and Susan at Dymocks for managing our bookings, Paul Lomas and the Showground Trust for rehearsal space, Michael Marotea of Armidale Antique & Design for loan of props, Michael Raue for building the Titanic ships & toy boats, Ewes Beaut for loan of megaphones, NEGS for loan of gym mats and the bell, Bob Estreich for loan of vintage phones & help with Marconi communications set, Cattleman's Motor Inn for loan of Butler’s wine bucket & stand, UNE Sports Union for loan of Gym mats & tables, Howard Nelson, of Titanic Heritage Trust, Coventry, UK, New England Hotel for loan of tables and benches, The Stables, Hanna's, Armidale Tennis Club, Armidale Outdoors, The Armidale School for loan of blankets, New England Hobbies for mentoring, Maree Anker, Michael Raue, Jane Horton, Dave Hardman, Susie Dunn, Mandy Chemane, Howard Randell, Greg Balstrode, Keri Biddle, Alan Wilkinson, Patrick Bradley, Colin Barry, Waine Grafton for their help with Props, Armidale City Signs for a great price on materials, Pat Bradley especially for ongoing repairs and general tinkering of the set and stage during production