BBC pulls the plug on Titanic publicity

Cast members from The Phoenix Players's current production Titanic - the Musical.

Cast members from The Phoenix Players's current production Titanic - the Musical.

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“BBC scuppers Titanic” isn’t the sort of headline you expect to see in connection with one of Harrogate’s leading amateur musical groups’ new show - but that’s what appears to have happened over the weekend.

The Phoenix Players’s current production Titanic - the Musical was scheduled to be featured on Elaine Paige’s Break-a-Leg spot on Radio 2.

But, despite the Players’ publicity team being told by the BBC that their announcement was ‘brilliant’, it could not be broadcast in the light of the Costa Concordia cruise liner disaster in Italy.

A spokesman for the Phoenix Players said: “We were as shocked and saddened by the news from Giglio as everyone else. Both events seemed unthinkable in their respective times, both resulted in tragic loss of life, and both are, allegedly, due to human error.

“But to say it was insensitive to publicise our show seemed rather unfair. There are a number of productions planned for the Titanic’s centenary year, months of hard work and planning have gone into it, and we have been rehearsing since last summer.”

“Ironically, we are using the show to raise money for the lifeboats. The RNLI has given us massive support, handing out fliers in all weathers and even helping us to sell programmes and raffle tickets. “

“To add insult to injury, Bee Gees star Robin Gibbs’ concept album The Titanic Requiem was promoted on the Chris Evans breakfast show last week. It seems there is one rule for the rich and another for the poor, just as there was on the Titanic.”

Phoenix Players’ lavish production at Harrogate Theatre of Maury Yeston’s award winning musical is based on fact and focuses on the pride of the owners and serving crew, the rigid class and the initial excitement of the passengers.

Most of the characters can be found on the ship’s original manifest and the show features authentic sets, stunning costumes and an emotional musical score.

The show opened last night, Thursday and finishes its run tomorrow, Saturday.

Tickets are available from the box office 01423 502116 or online www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk. A 50p donation from each ticket sold will go to the RNLI.

More information at www.harrogatephoenixplayers.co.uk.