TITANIC - THE INQUIRY
TITANIC - THE INQUIRY (60 minute version)
“Iceberg, right ahead!” The immortal words spoken at 11.39pm, on 14th April 1912, by look-out Frederick Fleet that signalled the beginning of the end of the White Star Line steamship, RMS Titanic.
‘Titanic – The Inquiry’ is based on act three of Ovation’s 2012 drama ‘Iceberg Right Ahead’. Aside from the Attorney General, the characters are all passengers and crew who sailed on the Titanic’s maiden voyage and gave evidence at the British Inquiry into the tragedy.
Some of the words are taken directly from the transcripts of both the American Enquiry and the British Inquiry.
‘Titanic – The Inquiry’ was written by Chris Burgess and John Plews with a little help from Dr Sam Willis.
Titanic – The Inquiry is suitable for an afternoon or evening presentation using a group of ten actors (amateur or professional) to read the characters and John Plews would (if available) play the Attorney General.
There is a PowerPoint presentation including a five-minute 3D animation of the ship and there would be a second half discussion on all things Titanic.
‘Titanic The Inquiry’ lasts approximately sixty minutes. There is the option to have an interval followed by a discussion on all things Titanic by John Plews. This can last between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the length of the Q&A with the audience.
ATTORNEY GENERAL Sir Rufus Isaacs (51, representing the Board of Trade)
FREDERICK FLEET (24, Liverpudlian, a look-out)
REGINALD LEE (41, Oxfordshire, a look-out)
SECOND OFFICER CHARLES LIGHTOLLER (38, most senior surviving officer)
LADY LUCY DUFF-GORDON (48, first class passenger, wife of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon)
J. BRUCE ISMAY (49, M.D. of the White Star Line, owner of the ship)
VIOLET JESSOP (24, Irish heritage, first class stewardess)
ROBERT HICHENS (29, fiery Cornishman, quartermaster)
MARGARET (MOLLY) BROWN (44, first-class passenger, forthright American)
ETTIE DEAN (32, third-class passenger, working class Londoner, mother of Millvina.)
Using the above characters the play lasts approximately 60mins. There is then the option to have an interval and the second half is a discussion (with PowerPoint headings) led by John Plews on ‘all things Titanic’.
The characters are real. However, their inter-play outside the Inquiry has been invented. Little is known about the personal lives of the crew members, and their dialogue has been freely fictionalised. The appearance of Molly Brown and Ettie Dean at the UK Inquiry is ‘artistic licence’.
The 1912 British Wreck Commission Inquiry into the sinking of RMS Titanic, on behalf of the British Board of Trade, ran from 2nd May to 3rd July. It was overseen by High Court Judge Lord Mersey of Toxteth and held in London at the Scottish Drill Hall, Buckingham Gate.