What do you do when the ‘unsinkable’ sinks? The Titanic sank 110 years ago, but ‘Ghosts of the Titanic’ presents conflicting theories as to why the ship sank and who may have benefited, making this a relevant modern day psychological drama.
Emma Hinton (Alex Constantinidi) is an English girl who has travelled to America to find out the truth of why the Titanic sunk. She has a key reason to know – her fiancé was playing in the band and lost his life on that fateful journey. Enter Molloy (William Meredith) an alleged journalist and his newspaper boss, Swanson (Hilary Tones), and you have a tale fit for any decent conspiracy theorist.
What is fascinating is the weaving of facts within a fictional play. I did not know, for example, that J P Morgan of American banking fame, was the owner of the Titanic. But these are the sort of pertinent facts that ‘Ghosts of the Titanic’ raises and questions – along with a narrative of what ifs and maybes that make you question the very truth – or what we accept to be the truth.
How do we know what we know? is a core theme running through ‘Ghosts of the Titanic’ and it’s an important question, but at times the delivery can feel a little monologue-y and ponderous. Emma is a likeable enough girl, but I wasn’t rooting for her with all my heart. I would prefer to feel more empathy for her character and to feel a part of her journey.
‘Ghosts of the Titanic’ is a thought-provoking production that raises key questions about identity, truth, verification and a whole heap of existentialism that many plays wouldn’t even go near. It shows how mental health can be weaponised against you, it forces into brutal glare the effects of gas lighting, the role of conspiracy theories in society and the question of who controls, nay, creates the narrative in society. Overall, this is a very contemporary and relevant debate for today and ‘Ghosts of the Titanic’ shines a light on these key topics.
Running July 19th – July 23rd at The McGrigor Hall, Frinton-on-sea. https://www.frintonsummertheatre.org/
Reviewer: Samantha Collett
Reviewed: 19th July 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★