'Titanic: The Movie, The Play' truly captured the essence of Anywhere Festival in Brisbane, setting up ship at the Queensland Maritime Museum and taking off on a nonsensical nautical adventure.
Act/React presented the story of 'Titanic' in the open air, kicking things off by having the audience stand behind a makeshift submarine, looking out at the wreck of the ship. From then, things just got whackier... In the greatest way possible.
There was some clever writing here. It mostly took its script from the official film, but when it strayed from that path, the jokes landed well.
Natalie Bochenski (Writer, Director and cast member) was hysterical as Old Rose, telling the story in all its detail just as she did in the film. Getting random audience members to play Young Rose was a great addition to the show, as Natalie would describe what she was wearing that day (according to which audience member she'd pick), and telling us it was in fashion at the time. Brilliant. This will (obviously) be different each night, so it's almost worth going more than once just to see the change in dynamic regarding the audience.
Daren King's animated and over-the-top Jack (“Wooooooooo!”-ing a million times during the “king of the world” scene) painted a hilarious caricature of Leo DiCaprio's role, while Drew Lochrie strutted around declaring he was Billy Zane (Cal) for the majority of the show.
What really worked in this performance was that it felt intimate, and it felt as though we were all involved. Aside from the obvious picking individual audience members to participate, the small setting meant that the entire show was quite personal and the cast worked exceptionally hard to present an enjoyable evening.
'Titanic: The Movie, The Play' lives up to Anywhere Festival's aim to emphasise the effectiveness of theatre outside the theatre.
Despite a hiccup with lighting (damn power surge) and some issues with projection – mainly from unsuspecting audience members asked to recite lines, nonetheless – this was a great show.
For die-hard fans of 'Titanic', it's a refreshing and humorous take on a classic which comedically alludes to many iconic moments, including “draw me like one of your French girls”, the car scene, and the floating door dilemma.
Act/React have crafted something just as valuable as the Heart Of The Ocean with this production. Bravo.
'Titanic: The Movie, The Play' is on at Queensland Maritime Museum until 26 May.