Ovation Theatres



“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.

‘Iceberg Right Ahead’ was written by Chris Burgess with a little help from John Plews.

Titanic – The Inquiry is suitable for an afternoon or evening presentation using a group of seven local actors (amateur or professional) to read the characters and John Plews would (if available) play the Attorney General. 

There is a power point presentation including a five-minute 3D animation of the ship and there would be a second half discussion on all things Titanic. 

The presentation (including an interval) lasts about ninety minutes (depending on the length of the discussion).

Please contact Ovation for further details.


ATTORNEY GENERAL Sir Rufus Isaacs (representing the Board of Trade)
FREDERICK FLEET (24, Liverpudlian, a look-out)
REGINALD LEE (41, Oxfordshire, a look-out)
J. BRUCE ISMAY (49, owner of the ship)
VIOLET JESSOP (24, Irish heritage, First Class Stewardess)
ROBERT HICHENS (29, fiery Cornishman, quartermaster)
MARGARET (MOLLY) BROWN (44, passenger, forthright American)
ETTIE DEAN (32, passenger, working class Londoner, ex-pub landlady)


Using the above characters the first half lasts approx. 40mins. There is then an interval and the second half is a discussion (with power-point headings) led by John Plews on ‘all things Titanic’. If required the play can be extended by 20mins to include the testimonies of Second Officer Charles Lightoller, Stoker Fred Barrett and first-class passenger Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon.

Author’s note: all the above 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, Ettie Dean and Violet Jessop 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.


‘Iceberg Right Ahead’ is available for both professional and amateur companies in the UK and the rest of the world.  

If you would like to produce ‘Iceberg Right Ahead’ please contact  John at Ovation’s London office on:
44 (0) 7973 502 189
email: john@ovationproductions.com 


A rehearsed reading of ‘Titanic – The Inquiry’ was performed at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate. Following the reading John Plews led an audience discussion on all things Titanic. 

Cast for the performance on 15th April 2023

Attorney General – John Plews
Frederick Fleet – Harry Curley
J. Bruce Ismay – John Newton
Violet Jessop – Eliza Shea
Reginald Lee / Robert Hitchens – Edward Hayes-Neary
Molly Brown / Ettie Dean – Helen Goldwyn

Director   –   John Plews