Two-man play about Titanic disaster at Sheringham Little Theatre

Dave Marsden and Pat Abernethy, who play Thomas Andrews and Bruce Ismay in The Man Who Left the Titanic. Picture: Rose Gowan Dave Marsden and Pat Abernethy, who play Thomas Andrews and Bruce Ismay in The Man Who Left the Titanic. Picture: Rose Gowan

Picture: ROSE GOWAN
Monday, February 24, 2014
8:00 AM

An intense production about the Titanic tragedy is coming to a coastal community theatre.

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The Man Who Left the Titanic is being performed at Sheringham Little Theatre by professional London-based touring company Isosceles on Friday February 28 at 7.30pm.

It is focused on Joseph Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star Line which operated the large ship that sunk after hitting an iceberg on April 15 1912.

Mr Ismay, who died in 1937 in Ireland, got on a lifeboat ahead of women and children.

More than 1,500 people died in the disaster on the Atlantic.

There were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard due to outdated maritime safety regulations.

Titanic only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—slightly more than half of the number on board and one third her total capacity.

In the play English businessman Mr Ismay experiences nightmares 20 years after the sinking from Thomas Andrews, naval architect for the Titanic, who stayed on the ship while it sank.

Mr Andrews was an Irish businessman and shipbuilder who was managing director and head of the drafting department for the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland. He was well-respected by many people.

As well as conversations between both businessmen the two-man play looks at how the Titanic was built, iconic parts of the sinking, including the eight musicians who died, and parts of the subsequent enquiries in America and England.

Pat Abernethy plays Mr Ismay and Dave Marsden plays Mr Andrews.

“It is pretty intense and claustrophobic,” Mr Abernethy said. “The play is about a nightmare situation. The audience get this moral argument and information about the building of the ship. It is very informative and is like a rollercoaster ride. It makes the audience ask a lot of questions.”

After the disaster Mr Ismay lived a reclusive life and moved from London to the west of Ireland. He was criticised in the enquiries.

The play was written by Patrick Prior, from the company Useful Idiots, and it was directed by Jim Dunk.

Tickets cost £5 for students or £10 for adults.

To book or for more information about the production visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com or call 01263 822347.

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