The play features two stories - both revolving around the infamous sailing of the RMS Titanic - one hundred years ago. One, the story of Joseph Phillipe Laroche (played by Conrad Caton) - whom, legend has it, was the only black man to board the ship with his French family. And the second, the legendary refusal of World Boxing Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson (played by Anthony Sherwood) to ride the vessel because of his skin colour.
These two unlikely friends regale the audience with the exchange of their tales to each other. While Laroche, from a wealthy Haitian family, is extremely proper and refined in the recounting of his experience, Johnson brings colour, passion and, at times, a welcomed breath of comedic relief. Caton and Sherwood become these historical men leaving no doubt in the minds of the audience. Playing off each other as well as engaging the audience in their walk down memory lane, the audience gets to know the men as they bond over their very personal stories. A truly fantastic performance by all.
A minimalist production is all that's needed with these two men on stage and their larger-than-life personalities unfolding before your eyes. A great evening of great theatre mixed with history and a lot of heart. A definite must-see for theatre lovers, history buffs, and any fans of great acting! And 2012 marks the centennial anniversary of the Titanic's only voyage.
Titanic: The Untold Story is happening from now until April 10th at the Alderney Landing Theatre - on theDside! Worth every minute!
Lee Cripps is a Darkside native, videographer, editor and media artist. Follow her at @TheCriptykLee