Two weeks before the Titanic was due to sail, Designer Thomas Andrews selected four young apprentices to sail on the maiden voyage as part of the nine-strong Harland & Wolff Guarantee Group. They acted as trouble-shooters. They dealt with immediate problems and snags and took notes for improving the ship.
After being selected, the four young men are excited by the epic nature of their journey and contemplate the great city of New York. Alfie Cunningham plays in an Orange Order flute band and fancies himself with the women. Halfway across the Atlantic Alfie, wonders if he should jump ship and start a new life in New York? Ennis Watson is the group clown and aspiring poet. He has ambitions of presenting his poetry to Walt Whitman in New York. William Campbell is the baby of the group. His mother has been diagnosed with TB and, whilst away, he is tortured by her fate. Frankie Parkes is a ‘Communist’ agitator, and is a critic of the capitalists, Bruce Ismay and William Pirrie.
The Titanic Boys is the powerful true story of nine ordinary Belfast men who found themselves at the centre of an extraordinary world event. They knew the Titanic better than anybody else in the world. They built it. Sailed on it. And died on it. This is their story.
|Grand Opera House, Belfast||August 2012|