Local family set sail with musical drama

THE centenary of the exact moment Titanic sunk is to be commemorated by Belfast Operatic Company, which includes several members from Lisburn, on the stage of the Grand Opera House this weekend.

‘Titanic: The Musical’ has been performed all week, but the final show on Saturday will be a special Gala Night performance starting at 11.40pm to mark the exact minute, 100 years on, when the ship sank to the Atlantic’s icy depths. And in a huge boost to the Company the show’s composer, Maury Yeston, plans to travel from New York to Belfast to attend the production.

This production marks a particularly significant experience for award-winning Show Director, Wilfie Pyper, who has directed most of BOC’s shows over the last 20 years. In this production, Wilfie is very proud to have two of his sons playing key roles in the show.

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Simon, from Lisburn, joins the company as Bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who, along with the rest of the Titanic band, perished on the ship, having played until the end. Brother Keith takes on the role of Third Officer Herbert Pitman who rowed back to rescue other survivors.

Wilfie, now one of Ireland’s leading musical theatre directors, cut his directorial teeth with this company by producing most of their Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, but none of greater significance than this production of Titanic the Musical. He is no stranger to the Grand Opera House and has brought many awards to this prestigious Company.

Lisburn man Simon Cunningham will also be taking to the stage, stepping into the shoes of First Officer William Murdoch.

Given that this is the centenary of the ship’s sinking, Titanic: The Musical is definitely a show not to be missed. Tickets are available from the Grand Opera House Box Office at 028 9024 1919.