Haunted mem­o­ries of the Ti­tanic disas­ter

Halifax Courier - - News - The Man Who Left the Ti­tanic

WHEN Bruce Is­may stepped off the deck of the sink­ing Ti­tanic into a lifeboat ahead of hun­dreds of men, women and chil­dren who per­ished, lit­tle did he re­alise that his ac­tions would haunt him for the rest of his life and be the sub­ject of heated dis­cus­sion for al­most the next hun­dred years.

This well-writ­ten and his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate play by Pa­trick Prior has been con­structed as a nar­ra­tive be­tween Is­may (Pat Aber­nethy) and his guilt- rid­den con­science in the form of Thomas An­drews (Dave Marsden), the ship’s de­signer who went down with the ill­fated liner.

Set in 1932, some twenty years af­ter the disas­ter, the ex­changes be­tween Is­may and An­drews take us through a dra­matic rec­ol­lec­tion of the sink­ing, em­pha­sis­ing the moral dilemma of Is­may’s res­cue while Cap­tain, crew and pas­sen­gers – in­clud­ing seven mil­lion­aires - sto­ically ac­cepted their fate.

Along the way we were clev­erly pre­sented with a vivid im­pres­sion of the liner’s grandeur to­gether with sen­si­tive de­scrip­tions of the peo­ple and events on board. Mr Aber­nethy por­trayed a trou­bled, bro­ken man who nev­er­the­less de­fended the de­ci­sion to save him­self de­spite the strong fac­tual and moral ar­gu­ments thrown at him. The au­di­ence make up their own mind – cow­ardice, self-preser­va­tion, hu­man na­ture? Sadly, only a small au­di­ence wit­nessed this ex­cel­lent play. Next year marks the cen­te­nary an­niver­sary of the Ti­tanic disas­ter – hope­fully this play will be do­ing the rounds again then and will at­tract a con­sid­er­ably larger au­di­ence, which it de­serves.

Dilemma: Pat Aber­nathy and Dave Marsden

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