It may not be the most obvious musical fodder, but Titanic the Musical is an emotional look at real life passengers on the doomed 'floating city'.

The Wycombe Swan theatre was abuzz last night (May 22) with an audience curious to see how the 1912 wreckage of HMS Titanic would translate into a musical stage show.

Would we be treated to Rose and Jack singing a ballad while they lay on that controversially large door in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Would the ensemble cast perform a heart touching rendition of Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On'?

The answer was, none of the above. Titanic the Musical debuted on Broadway in 1997, two months before the famous film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and rather than focusing on one tragic love story, it takes a sweeping look at the real-life travellers who lost their lives or were saved while aboard the 'floating city'.

While the music and lyrics didn't completely win me over - often leaning overly operatic or going to pains to explain character motivations - I was more affected by the performances than I thought I would be.

Admittedly cynical to begin with, I entered the auditorium with the view that dramatising a disaster which claimed thousands of lives might somehow cheapen those losses.

But it was the ensemble element that won me over, darting between characters of different social groups, from Irish third-class immigrants to millionaire barons, providing just enough insight for emotional investment across the board without feeling intrusive.

The added musical elements - strangely appropriate since the orchestra aboard the Titanic famously continued to play as the ship went down - also added resonance to the human stories depicted onstage. 

Bucks Free Press:

Elderly couple Ida and Isidor Straus, played by Valda Aviks and David Delve, had the most impactful arc in my opinion. No spoilers but someone in the row behind me did start sobbing during their final musical number.

Bee Smith and James Darch were also standouts, playing social climbers Edgar and Alice Beane, whose obsessions with class paled in comparison to such an equalising existential threat.

Titanic the Musical runs at the Wycombe Swan from Tuesday, April 22 to Saturday, April 27.

Tickets start at £15 and can be purchased at