Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – 2012
It is April the 9th 1912 and Thomas Andrews is admiring the ship he has designed, The Royal Mail Steamer Titanic. The next day we meet the crew and passengers who are about to board her at Southampton; Fred Barrett the stoker, Harold Bride the telegraph operator and Fred Fleet the lookout. The crew assembles, led by Captain Smith, who is joined by Andrews and Joseph Ismay, the ship’s owner. The passengers begin to arrive, third class and the three Kates, second class with Charles Clarke and Caroline Neville. Finally, the first class board, with their names and station narrated by Alice Beane, a second class passenger and social climber. Now at sea, Ismay goes to the bridge to persuade the Captain to make the journey as fast as possible; the Captain agrees to increase speed, barely satisfying Ismay and worrying the stoker. On the second-class promenade, Alice is keen to mingle with the first class, whereas Charles and Caroline are happy just to observe them. Oblivious to this, the first class have their dinner with the Captain, attended by their steward, Henry Etches. Over the next few days, Ismay repeatedly enquires on the distance covered, until the irritated Captain leaves. Back on the bridge, he reveals to a surprised First Officer Murdoch that this is his last voyage. Meanwhile, the third class are looking forward to arriving in America and the opportunities that await them and in the radio room, Barrett asks Bride to send an important message to his girlfriend. The first class passengers enjoy a dance, led by bandmaster Hartley and the DaMico dancers; Alice keeps trying to join in the dancing; when she re-joins her husband Edgar she is elated. He is not. One of several ice warnings is sent to the bridge. In the smoke room, Colonel Astor, Rogers, Thayer and the Major are playing cards, where they are joined by Charlotte Cardoza; on deck are Kate McGowan with Jim Farrell and the Strausses. They all notice that it is getting increasingly cold. Suddenly, the lookout shouts an iceberg warning and the bridge crew try to take evasive action. But it is too late and the ship strikes the iceberg; it is 11:40 pm on Sunday, April the 14th.
In First Class, George Widener is woken by Benjamin Guggenheim, alarmed that the engines have stopped; Etches and the stewards arrive to wake the rest. The Captain orders all the passengers to wear life preservers and to assemble as if for a drill; second class and third class are also awakened. Andrews reports to Ismay and the Captain that the ship has sustained too much damage and will sink. The second class have now joined with the first class, still unaware of the danger the ship is in; the third class are unable to travel beyond the locked gates that separate the decks. The Captain goes to the radio room to see if any ships are coming to their rescue, Bride is on duty and informs him that only Carpathia has responded. Ismay and Andrews have followed him and an argument erupts between the three of them, but it is the Captain who takes final responsibility for the disaster. On the Boat Deck, Murdoch and Second Officer Lightoller begin to load the final lifeboat; Marion and John Thayer persuade their son Jack to get in, but when Isidor Strauss decides not to get on, Ida refuses to board without him. Having found their way up top, Farrell persuades Kate to board and he joins her when Barrett gives up his place to him. Alice also boards, horrified that she will have to leave Edgar behind. As the lifeboat is lowered, they call out to the loved ones they will never see again. Below deck, the remaining male passengers await their fate; Murdoch takes his leave of the Captain and Etches brings champagne to Ida and Isidor. Andrews, mad with guilt, foresees the eventual fate of the remaining passengers as the ship begins its final descent. At dawn, the survivors line up on the deck of the Carpathia; as the dead join them, they say farewell to the greatest liner the world had ever seen.