All aboard for amusement

Titanic The Movie The Play (Act/React)

Brisbane Powerhouse, Powerhouse Plaza

September 29 – October 22

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Just when you thought it was safe to return to the Powerhouse Plaza, the unsinkable RMS Titanic is ready to set sail for its second season in the immersive “Titanic The Movie The Play”. The show, which gives audience members opportunity to strap on a life jacket and jump aboard in shameless homage to the epic ‘90s romance of aristocratic Rose and lowborn Jack, comes complete with deliberately low-budget special effects and non-stop laughter for those lucky enough to have booked a berth.

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Guided by Old Rose (Natalie Bochenski) reminiscing for the first time (for a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets) about when, years earlier, she got on a boat and had sex in a car, the audience is taken aboard the wannabe passenger liner.

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As her story unfolds, a bunch of roses are selected from the audience to don big-brimmed hat and imitation Le Cœur de la Mer Heart of the Ocean blue diamond necklace (as was the fashion of the time) to feature as fiancé to hilarious sleazy dudebro Billy Zane (Daren King) or get steamy with the poor artist Jack (co-writer Dan Beeston), who has boarded the board with a bindle packed with an academic award.

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Intertextual and pop culture references pepper the piece. A ‘Pretty Woman’ montage, complete with musical accompaniment that sees Molly Brown (Elizabeth Hannah) helping Jack to dress to dinner with options, including a pink Gatsby-esque suit, serves as particularly highlight. And dialogue is packed with Billy Zane movie title puns. In every aspect, the versatility of the show’s performers is undeniable, evidenced in their improvised responsiveness to the audience, the outdoor setting and on-stage participants.

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As the world’s greatest story of ill-fated love, loss and lifeboats (courtesy of the Queensland Maritime Museum), Act/React’s cheeky, energetic parody picks up where their 2015 smash hit “Speed The Movie The Play” (set aboard a vintage bus) left off and, is guaranteed to have audience in fits of often-snorty laughter. Be warned though. Along with its all sorts of amusement, “Titanic The Movie The Play” contains dodgy special effects, that Celine Dion song from atop the show’s custom-built replica of the Titanic’s iconic bow and jokes about Billy Zane’s career that never grow old.

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