Titanic star Claire Machin – Interview

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The award-winning musical Titanic is currently touring the country. It tells the heartbreaking story of the maiden voyage of the legendary ship the Titanic and the doomed fate of the 1517 people who perished when the ship struck an iceberg. Focusing on the real people aboard, this musical has already received an amazing response from audience members and critics alike. I had the chance to chat to Claire Machin who plays Alice Beane in the production.

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Claire Machin and Timothy Quin in Titanic The Musical. Photo by Scott Rylander 008

What can audiences expect when they come to see Titanic the Musical?

Audiences can expect to have a wonderful & very moving experience when they come to see Titanic. What they won’t get is a staged version of the 1997 film version. No Jack and Rose in this one nor will they get ‘My Heart Will Go On’. This is a show which tells the story of the real people aboard the Titanic from passengers to crew as they live out there hopes and dreams.

Can you sum up the show in just 3 words? 

Joyous, Emotional, Epic.

You starred in the critically acclaimed production of Titanic at the Charing Cross Theatre, London in 2016. Why did you decide to return to the show for this tour?

I am always hesitant when returning to a show that was so well received both critically and commercially and also, one that I had a good time doing and the people involved were all so talented, friendly and generous. But, I was intrigued by this one. I always enjoy working with Thom Sutherland (Director) and Cressida Carre (musical staging) so to pass up that opportunity was not to be dismissed. Also, the producer Danielle Tarento really cares about the piece not the just the bottom line and that is becoming dare I say it a rare thing. (Although I have to add on the latter that I’m very pleased to say that the tour has gone extremely well and each venue so far has been packed or almost packed to the rafters). Another reason was to explore the piece more. I never tire of Murry Yeston’s beautiful watery score and Peter Stones book. And so I wanted to find if there was anything more I could add.

How is this production similar or different to the Off-West End version? 

The production has moved seamlessly from the small intimate space of Charing Cross to the large venues across the UK & Ireland with hardly any changes. The piece is so well written and Thom & Cressida’s vision is so clear that it stands up on its own.

Claire Machin in rehearsals for Titanic The Musical. Photo by Scott Rylander 3500-035

Can you tell us more about your character, Alice Beane? 

I play a lady named Alice Beane (married to Edgar) who is an American and a second class passenger. She is not afraid to say that it’s ok to want more out of life (quite a thing for a lady in 1912 to say). She’s extremely happy to be sailing on the Titanic and can’t help herself waving at the first class (a social climber and celebrity spotter).

What’s your favourite thing about playing this character? 

I love Alice’s optimism, drive and zest for life. She’s a modern woman.

Why do you think the story of the Titanic still interests people over 106 years after the tragedy? 

The story of Titanic will always be relevant and of interest to people because it is a humane story not a story about a ship but of all the people who sailed on her and the tragic story of all those poor souls who lost their lives.

Finally, why should audiences come to watch the new UK Tour of Titanic the Musical? 

If you want to see a quality piece of theatre not relying on celebrity casting but a beautifully crafted piece of theatre then come along.

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Titanic is currently touring the UK until the 4th August before going to Hamburg for a week. For information and/or tickets click here. Titanic will set sail into The Churchill Theatre, Bromley on the 16th July. For tickets click here.

Photo Credit: Scott Rylander

 

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