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Diary: Mayflower versus Titanic

The cast of Titanic at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. Photo: S Rylander The cast of Titanic at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. Photo: S Rylander
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Performers were forced to abandon ship on the opening night of Titanic the Musical – after debris began falling from the ceiling.

All hands were on deck to begin the Tony award-winning musical’s run on April 12 at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, to coincide with the 106th anniversary of the vessel’s maiden voyage from the city.

However, just after the iconic moment in which the ocean liner hits an iceberg – as if right on cue – chunks of plaster began falling from the ceiling on to the stage.

Those watching would have been forgiven for thinking it was part of the production, with one audience member telling the BBC that she thought it was an onstage effect.

But unfortunately, the performance was wrecked, with the cast and audience members needing to be evacuated for “health and safety reasons”.

The irony was not lost on those watching, with associate producer Michael Ockwell telling the BBC: “You couldn’t make it up.”

Another audience member tweeted: “Iconic moment… Titanic hits the iceberg and the Mayflower’s ceiling falls down.

“Shall we form an orderly queue and is it women and children first?”

A Southampton Mayflower spokesman later confirmed that there was no “structural issue” and that remedial works were carried out the following morning.

Let’s just hope the rest of Titanic the Musical’s voyage around the UK goes swimmingly – if that’s the right word.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk

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