Titanic The Musical, Theatre Review, Belfast’s Grand Opera House, April 4th, 2023

By Conor O’Neill

The best thing about reviewing the arts is coming home and hardly being able to sit because a show or event was that good you simply have to dash to the laptop and espouse its brilliance right away. Then there’s the other side of reviewing; some shows aren’t that great. Every yin has to have its yang.

Unfortunately Titanic The Musical falls into the latter category. Yes, it’s won multiple awards, yes, the cast’s credentials are impeccable, and there are some mighty fine moments in this production’s two hours and 20 minutes running time, but they are too far and few between to hold together what I deem to be a show worthy of your hard earned money.

We all know the story, millions flocked to see the movie which won 11 Academy Awards way back in 1997. I have never watched it, but before going to see last night’s performance I Googled the musical and saw how well it was received and was hoping for a grand night out. The Opera House was packed with all stripes and sorts of people and the place was buzzing with anticipation.

Not only was there a 20 minute delay due to technical issues but what followed was definitely not worth the wait. Titanic The Musical should have been billed Titanic the opera. I love a good musical as much as the next theatre goer, but warbled vocals and one song gently bleeding into another are just not my cup of tea.

As mentioned above there are some flashes of brilliance and moving relationships in this tale of human egoism and steadfast belief that our species is above the forces of nature. The boiler room stokers’ scene is brilliant, and one of the few scenes which involves any real choreography.

The relationship between Ida Straus (Volda Aviks) and her husband Isidor (David Delve) is enchanting. Captain Edward Smith (Graham Bickley) gives off the right amount of authority to be believed, and like the others has a fine singing voice.

Historically it’s on point too, but while the stats and adherence to the truth do make for an interesting history, the delivery of the plot do not make for a good show.

Then again 1040 people stood in ovation at the end of the show. So, maybe it’s just not my type of show. In summary, if someone said, “there’s a free ticket and a 20 pound note to go see Titanic The Musical.” unfortunately, I value my free time too much to accept the kind offer.

I hate slating a show with so many highly talented people involved, but I have to be honest with the readers of this site and to paraphrase Roy Walker, ‘Say what I see.”

This musical may just be up your street though. It runs up to and including Saturday April 8th.

For booking details visit http://www.goh.co.uk or simply phone the box office on 02890 241919


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