A disturbance! A sinking feeling! Theatrical necromancy! Doppelgangster draw from the screenplay for James Cameron’s 1997 epic Hollywood tear-jerker and a maelstrom of other sources including the Titanic DVD Special Features Disk and eye witness statements of people who actually saw the film at the movies. Cameron”s narrative is subverted by competing historical, fictionalised and completely fantastic accounts as early 20th Century political spin, media confusion and public anxiety are given voice, amplification and a flare gun.

TITANIC is about ‘educated guesses’, 'operational matters' and the impossible pursuit of ‘truth’. This most grand spectacle is staged entirely from a shipping container and stars Australian enfant terrible Tobias Manderson-Galvin (MKA | Theatre of New Writing) as Titanic Director Cameron; bon vivant and raconteur Dr Tom Payne (Silver Rocket Club, Hydrocitizens) as handsome, though slightly aged, Leonardo DiCaprio, and a guest performer as elderly, and suspiciously alive Rose. All accompanied by a recorded and amplified score by Jules 'Crazy Legs' Pascoe. First class seats available. 

Yes it is.
Doppelgangster's TITANIC takes place outdoors.


Doppelgangster's TITANIC has received support from Arts Council Wales through their international funding arm Wales Arts International; thanks to The National Lottery and the Welsh Government.
Doppelgangster's TITANIC was initially developed at National Theatre Wales' WalesLab, thanks to the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. It was first staged at Experimentica15 with support from Chapter Arts Centre.

The 2015 Paris production, in association with ArtCOP21, was made possible thanks to La Generale, Wales Arts International and the City of Paris.

Initial Research & Development period included
Sound by Matt Wright, Performances by Rhiannon White, Hannah van den Berg, Nia Griffiths, Ellen Groves & a special performance as ‘Celine Dion’ by Jimin Lim.

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Doppelgangster’s TITANIC – At Aberystwyth Arts CentrePublished March 24 2016, Cambrian News

I missed the memo about Doppelgangster’s TITANIC being performed outside so I was pretty cold as I watched the performance, in March, in the arts centre car park. I hate the cold. Everyone who knows me know I’m always cold and can be seen wearing my warm winter coat throughout the year. However, as cold as I was, I was gripped by this wonderful showand desperate to see where the one hour tour de force would take me.

Inspiration for the piece has been drawn from the screenplay from James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film, Titanic.

The ‘Titanic’ of this performance was a large metal shipping container, situated in the car park.

The audience, which sadly only numbered around twenty people when the piece deserved to be seen by many more, assembled in the arts centre box office before being led to the container, where the captain of the ship waved us, his passengers, to our seats. Well, sort of.

Plastic stacked seats for the audience to put out themselves, buckets of water in rows in front of the container to make us wonder if we were going to get wet and very loud music, set the scene.

The soundtrack to the show was fantastic, setting the fast pace matched by the performers, Aberystwyth based academic and performance maker Tom Payne and Australian actor/writer Tobias Manderson-Galvin. It did, at times, drown out their voices, especially at the start of the show, but a small tweak on the levels will sort that out.

Tom and Tobias play various parts from the film including Jack and Rose, and Celine Dion even gets an outing!

With so much water, electricity and a car driving through the audience (yes, you did read that right), I can see why the arts centre had reservations about safety, but the edginess of the performance enhanced my enjoyment and almost made me forget the cold.

This is the kind of theatre you usually see at Edinburgh Fringe. To watch it in Aberyswyth was a real treat.


Review by 
Julie McNicholls Vale

Titanic review: MKA and Doppelgangster's punk play on disaster film...

Date July 4, 2016

Cameron Woodhead

Doppelgangster & MKA: Theatre of New Writing
Siteworks, 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick
Until July 8

Punk performance art inspired by James Cameron's 1997 disaster film Titanic? What better to capture the mood of the nation on the eve of the federal election?

There's probably no way of describing Doppelgangster​'s Titanic that couldn't easily apply to the ballot result. A surreal and satirical rage against the machine, it's a show that rips up all the rules and delivers some uncomfortable surprises, even if the message is a bit incoherent in its defiance.

The epic outdoor set is perfect for sinking the blockbuster's aesthetic.

The epic outdoor set is perfect for sinking the blockbuster's aesthetic. Photo: Warren Orchard

Theatrical saboteurs Tobias Manderson-Galvin and Tom Payne have built a suitably epic outdoor set for sinking the blockbuster's aesthetic. A shipping container flanked by a step-pyramid of fibrous bricks, a constantly weeping sheet of stage rain, buckets of icy water arranged in front.  

It begins by setting fire to a puddle. Manderson-Galvin emerges as director James Cameron in full ship's captain attire, Payne is dressed as Leonardo DiCaprio​.

They proceed to spew forth a torrent of words: low-key personal anecdotes about the pressure to see the movie everyone else has seen, Dadaist rants cribbed from the  Titanic DVD's special features, poetic intimations of refugees on leaky boats, and subversions of the film script that skewer and suburbanise romantic convention, as Jules Pascoe's percussive post-rock score blares throughout.

This may be an anti-epic, and the freezing midwinter night made the audience feel like the iceberg of the piece, but Titanic still delivers lashings of the brazen monumentality it lampoons. At one point, Payne ploughs a car into the seating bank, forcing the audience to pick up chairs and flee. And there's a nude scene from Manderson-Galvin – a blow by blow description would be unpublishable, and I wouldn't want to ruin it anyway – that's pure hilarity.

Sure, there's a puerile aspect to Titanic's humour, and large chunks of the show converge on some underworld where post-dramatic and post-taste theatre converge, but it's also very funny in a baffling, offbeat way. It's the kind of restless, utterly original indie performance Melbourne used to have a lot more of.

Titanic - SiteWorks (Brunswick, Melbourne)


Photo by Warren Orchard
Jul 1st 2016 | James Daniel

Doppelgangster is a UK/Australian collaboration between MKA's Tobias Manderson-Galvin and British academic and performance maker Dr Tom Payne. This new theatre company aims to respond to urgent concerns such as climate change, migration, community and class and dives headfirst into all of these issues in the stunningly messy and chaotic Titanic.

If you've ever thought theatre is boring, or tired, or recycling old ideas — then dammit, you owe it to yourself to see this show. Every time we start to describe what the show is about, words fail us; narrative construct isn't exactly what you would call conventional in this reframing of the 1997 film. Filled with cheeky academic dissection, hilarious moments of anti-theatre and astute commentary on climate change and migration, this show is active, present, high energy, funny and politically on point. An amazing prog-rock/jazz-metal soundtrack from Melbourne-based composer Mr Jules Pascoe is just the icing on the cake. Doppelgangster's TITANIC is the definition of coordinated chaos: the ocean lights up in flames, champagne spurts in celebration, a naked man drowns (while standing upright in front of a shipping container sculpture of the Titanic) and at one stage you have to jump out of your seat to avoid being hit by a car coming through the middle of the audience. There's only two more performances, just go see it. Dress warm.


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