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Titanic (Charing Cross Theatre, London): #FreshOffTheStalls

titanic Gayspeed! James Waygood reviews 'Titanic'. Photograph: Courtesy of Grumpy Gay Critic.

All aboard Titanic’s return to London! Don’t miss this magnificent return of Danielle Tarento and Thom Southerland’s award-winning revival.

The world’s largest moving object, and an allegedly “unsinkable” ship, the RMS Titanic was a modern marvel. On it’s maiden voyage in April 1912, it hit an iceberg only 90 miles from its destination, New York, causing it to sink. Over 1000 people perished in the icy waters, triggering the most radical overhaul of maritime safety laws ever known, and the tragedy endures as a cultural legend. Titanic focuses of the lives of real individuals who were on board the fated crossing; first class, second class, third class, and crew, on that tragic night on 15 April 1912.

Titanic is one of the series of hits from “The Phoenix Machine”: producer Danielle Tarento and director Thom Southerland. They truly marked their status as London’s top theatre makers when they brought Maury Yeston‘s acclaimed but ill-fated Broadway musical to exquisite life on London’s Off-West End scene three years ago, launching at the Southwark Playhouse. Although winning five Tony Awards, including “Best Musical”, “Best Book” and “Best Score”, it closed after less than two years to mixed reviews and a cost of $10,000,000: then the most expensive show in the history of The Great White Way. After it’s acclaimed London premier, Titanic sailed to Canada, now returning to London to open Southerland’s inaugural season as Artistic Director at the Charing Cross Theatre.

With music and songs by Yeston, and book by Peter Stone, I gave Titanic four stars in 2013. The production is now reconfigured for a proscenium arch, and many of the original Southwark Playhouse production’s cast members are returning to Titanic, along with acclaimed lighting designer Howard Hudson. But can it crest to be an even better show than it was in 2013?

Titanic plays at the Charing Cross Theatre, London, WC2N 6NL, until 6 August 2016. Tickets are £17.50 – £39.50. To book, visit www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk.