Members say: Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny

About the show

Irish Rep presents this one-man comedy starring Colin Hamell as a Belfast shipyard worker named Jimmy Boylan, as well as more than 20 other characters whose lives were connected to the doomed ocean liner.

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From his new home in a humorously rendered heaven, Boylan remembers and relives events surrounding the voyage every day, consumed by its legacy. God is a Dublin gangster. Angel Gabriel is the plucky keeper at the gates of heaven and Titanic’s legacy isn’t the first class passengers, it is 700 crewmen enjoying newfound stardom in heaven. Having gone down with the ship, Jimmy has rock star status and boy does he milk it. Flirting with angels, rewriting history with a direct line to an unlikely God – 'Jimmy Titanic' is a unique comic take on the story of the most famous ship ever built.



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85
Woman Around Town

"Portraying over 20 characters...actor Hamell shape-shifts with the best of them. A wide variety of accents are employed. Most offer distinctive cadence...Performance is energetic, and impressively focused...Playwright McMullen's perspective manages to be at once original, moving, humorous, and informative. You can't help but be thoroughly entertained...As the unsophisticated, jaunty, likeable Jimmy, Hamell is irresistible." Full Review

85
CurtainUp

"Prepare to laugh and cry...No question that the piece has a serious underlining...The chief delight here comes from watching Hamell bring alive those 20-odd characters. He unabashedly dives in and inhabits crew members, the millionaire John Jacob Astor, a New York Times editor, the narrator, and more...Much depends of course on O'Reilly's seamless direction...Written for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, the production is still floating along just fine." Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

"Hamell is a wonder to behold, moving energetically from one scene to the next in rapid-fire flashbacks, careening through time and place and running the gamut of emotion...McMullan, packs a great deal of substance into 75 minutes of play and he does it with a delicacy of storytelling that’s titanic in itself...O'Reilly kept the pace moving briskly and helped navigate the piece with a steady, sure hand." Full Review

75
Theatre's Leiter Side

“Time jumps around nonlinearly and sometimes confusingly, with scenes both in heaven and on earth…Some of this is informative, some of it satiric, some of it touching…But the specifics of what happened…are too often mingled with snarky diversions, especially the extraneously jokey stuff about Jimmy's fun life after death…Hamell…is consistently energetic and charismatic. He doesn't nail all the accents, though,…and it's occasionally difficult to separate one character from another.” Full Review

65
Theatermania

"An unabashedly strange solo play...Stars an enthusiastic Hamell...Far shorter and more intimate than the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster, yet it manages to pack in just as much schmaltz...All of his characters are given distinctive voices and physicality...Unlikely to offer anything new to disaster aficionados. Through his affable presence and sheer force of will, though, Hamell manages to keep this show afloat just long enough for us to safely disembark." Full Review

65
This Week in New York Blog

"The scenes on board the ship are genuinely gripping as Hamell reveals how passengers of different backgrounds, from class to ethnicity to gender, faced peril. Whenever McMullan steers the story back up to heaven, the energy is drained...The show drags a bit until it shifts back to the commotion rising on the ship...Despite its drawbacks, 'Jimmy Titanic' offers a unique and compelling view of one of the worst tragedies of the twentieth century, focusing on the men behind the scenes." Full Review

55
Lighting & Sound America

"McMullan creates some lively and unusual situations...Far too much...is concerned with Jimmy's antics in heaven...These cutesy astral-plane comedy routines are jarringly out of sync with the passages focused directly on the Titanic disaster...As a result, the evening coasts on the skill of Hamell...But even he can't keep 'Jimmy Titanic' from feeling tediously overextended...Has its moments, but overall, it is a leaky dramatic vessel, overloaded with ideas, few of which get fully realized." Full Review

85
Metro (US)

for a previous production "Simple storytelling, dry Irish humor, and an incredibly talented creative team are all you really need...Hamell effortlessly morphs from mortal characters...into celestial beings...Hamell’s characters are all consistently masterful storytellers. Be prepared to laugh out loud one minute while choking back tears the next...O’Reilly leaves no stone unturned in her tender and intermittently quirky interpretation of the tale that’s been told many times before — but never quite like this." Full Review

80
BroadwayWorld

for a previous production "A decidedly different point of view...Through a variety of accents, tones of voice, mannerisms, and postures, Hamell clearly differentiates the characters...'Jimmy Titanic' sinks or swims on the talents of the solo performer. Hamell has both comedic and dramatic acting chops...However, his greatest asset for this role is his storytelling ability and the connection he makes with the audience." Full Review

80
Theatre Mirror

for a previous production "A new, entertaining vehicle...Throughout the play’s narrative, without changing his clothes or using props, Hamell rapidly changes into several characters...Hamell hysterically, outrageously, and uncharacteristically paints an unprecedented bird’s-eye view of the beyond...Their joy in being part of the proud shipbuilding minions and loyal crew dominates. McMullan, O’Reilly, and Hamell capture that, and more, captivating the audience." Full Review

75
Boston Globe

for a previous production "God and Gabriel are just two of some 20 delightfully outrageous characters in McMullan’s darkly funny 'Jimmy Titanic'...The play...starts out in heaven but flashes back to Belfast, where R.M.S. Titanic was built, and to the ship itself...A reminder that most of the nearly 1,500 passengers who went down with the ship were not Astors and Guggenheims but crew members and poor emigrants...As quirkily engaging as McMullan’s heaven is, Belfast and Titanic are more moving." Full Review

45
The Reviews Hub

for a previous production "Hamell parodies the characters in his story, hamming up accents and postures for laughs. At the start, this is forgivable, even charming, but it all becomes a little too much like a Brendan Carroll pantomime...The campiness of the performance just doesn’t work with the subject matter...The frame just wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of the story...Effective as an easy to digest comedy, 'Jimmy Titanic' has the potential for a more effective staging." Full Review


85
Funny, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Resonant

See it if Actor plays “Jimmy” from the Titanic and other people from 1912 and in heaven. Good depth and humor. Pride in our work outlasts disaster.

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in a fun offbeat solo show where the actor is playing a crew member one minute and Angel Gabriel the next.

80
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you have an interest in the Titanic and enjoy watching an actor masterfully portray many characters -- on earth and in heaven.

Don't see it if you are offended by somewhat sacrilegious depictions.

68
Great acting, Historical fiction, Great accents, One man

See it if You like historical fiction. You are charmed by Irish accents. Have lived in Ireland. You like minimalist productions.

Don't see it if You dislike one man shows. If you are looking to learn about Titanic.

87
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Refreshing, Hilarious

See it if You like great acting and amazing accents or delightfully dark humor

Don't see it if You know you don't like one man shows

63
Ambitious, Refreshing, Slow

See it if You want to see how many characters one actor can bring to life! It's an ambitious script for a one-man show and Mr. Hamell is engaging.

Don't see it if There are SO many characters that it is, at times, difficult to differentiate them.

100
During previews
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if Told from the perspective of a coal trimmer, this fascinating epic tale intertwines more than two dozen characters real and imaginary

Don't see it if you do not like storytelling

Also to illustrate the fate of Titanic‘s passengers, and crew on board. Ber... Read more Read less

95
During previews
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Profound

See it if Enjoy one-man shows performed by an amazing actor. Show is clever and fast paced.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy one-man shows.

93
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if Want to see an extremely funny, well written play that never becomes boring.

Don't see it if You’re easily offended by religious humour.

Also One man shows don’t normally appeal. What if you don’t like the actor ... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you like clever writing.

Don't see it if you don’t like anything about the Titanic.

86
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a fan of Titanic stories and one person shows, a new approach to something we have seen before

Don't see it if You want big production values or documentary insights

85
During previews
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if enjoy one man shows; want a brand new view of heaven; want to hear more about the history of the Titanic; enjoy a good night at the theater

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows, have trouble following dialogue where the characters keep changing; or are very serious about god and bible.

Also Kudos to everyone involved in this production. Colin Hamell was terrif... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you'd enjoy learning more about the historical context of the Titanic, you like one man shows, you enjoy an irreverent take on Heaven

Don't see it if you have zero interest in the Titanic, are easily offended by religious caricatures

Also One thing in particular I really appreciated about this show was that ... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you love the craft of theater and acting. This is a masterful performance with a well conceived and smartly written script. Worth it

Don't see it if ¥ou need glitzy sets and distracting entertainment. This is serious acting chops

84
During previews
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You want an unique view of the Titanic that merges historical fact & fiction. You want drama & comedy. You want great acting.

Don't see it if You want real history: in addition to the fiction, there's a 2nd story, w/musings on the afterlife & fame that can clash w/the main one.

83
During previews
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if you'd like to experience the sinking of the Titanic through the eyes of the men who worked below the deck.

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for single-person shows, or performers who talk at an audience.

Also Colin Hamell is a gifted physical comedian & a non-stop ball of energy... Read more Read less

81
During previews
Absorbing, Entertaining, Tour de force performance, Imaginative script, Surprisingly funny!

See it if You'd enjoy spending an evening in the company of multiple characters w different pts of vw about this historical event. Colin is fantastic.

Don't see it if You don't want your idea of heaven challenged, aren't interested in a fictional, often funny take of sad event, don't like 1-guy/many roles.

Also It would be hard to NOT be impressed by the skillful storytelling and ... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a very intense, sometimes humorous, sometimes very sad tale of people who were on the Titanic told by one gifted actor.

Don't see it if you don't like a humorous view of heaven or anything to do with the Titanic.

Also Actor was really effective in portraying many roles and tragic situati... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Funny, Enchanting, Great acting, Moving, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy one man plays and are interested in the Titanic story told by a charming Irishman with a delightful accent.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy one man plays and have no interest in history told in a whimsical way.

79
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Hilarious

See it if If you want a new look at death and at natural disasters. Plenty of facts about the titanic. The actor doing the show was superb.

Don't see it if You don’t like one man shows or if one liners about death make you uncomfortable

79
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy one man shows in which one actor plays multiple roles. You are interested in the historical significance of the Titanic.

Don't see it if You can’t deal with listening to very heavily accented Irish brogue.You don’t know anything about the infamous unsinkable Titanic and are no

Also Not interested in learning about it. I visited Belfast a few years ago... Read more Read less

78
During previews
Delightful, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy solo pieces with strong character choices.

Don't see it if You want a really tight one-man show. This is SO CLOSE to being exceptional, just cut the fat and crystallize the thesis.

78
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Cliched, Overdone

See it if you like one person shows with multiple characters carefully delineated by the performer, into Titanic history enjoy 90 minute plays

Don't see it if you don't like 1 person plays, no interest in Titanic stories, don't like a lot of shouting, have trouble following 1 actor doing all parts

78
During previews
Ambitious, Clever, Heartfelt, Impassioned, Weaving of fact & invention

See it if A one-man revisit to the results of the sinking of the Titanic told from the vantage point of heaven. Great commitment on the part of both..

Don't see it if playwright and actor. Some information, some humor, some pathos, some indignation among the many voices in a simple set.

74
During previews
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want an evening of light entertainment with a good performance and an interesting take on history.

Don't see it if you object to clever laughs that ultimately create a distraction, preventing the show from delivering a more meaningful message.

72
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You have an interest in anything Titanic or solo performances. He floats into & out of all classes of people on or associated with the ship

Don't see it if If you require a linear storyline. Since he jumps from Heaven to Belfast to NYC, you might get confused.


Cast & Creatives (5)