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History at Large

Inquest Titanic

History at Large, Salisbury, Wiltshire

devised by George Fleming

Blackledge Theatre, The Godolphin School, Salisbury

4th June 1999


Welcome to another of our celebrated History Lessons (the phrase that dare not speak its name!).

Tonight we are employing the format of a mock Judicial Enquiry to examine some aspects of the "Titanic" disaster. At the end of the evening we will ask you, as our "Jury", to give a verdict on the degrees of culpability (or non-culpability) of various parties involved. The ballotting system will be explained to you in the course of the show.

What you will see tonight is NOT a play: in fact it is hard to define what it is, in conventional theatrical terms. And, although it is our proud boast that we give our audiences history lessons, we hope, also, that our presentation rises above the conventional lecture theatre approach.

"Inquest Titanic" is a kind of "controlled improvisation", in which actors, audio-visual aids and models have been brought together to explore this most famous of maritime tragedies and present it to you in what, we hope, is a factually informative and yet entertaining way!

We hope you enjoy tonight's offering...


The Titanic When she sailed from Southampton on her first and last voyage, R.M.S. "Titanic" was the largest moving object ever made. In every respect - engineering, style, comfort - she could fairly claim to be the finest, as well as the largest, passenger ship in the world. She carried over 2,000 passengers and crew.

Her tragic loss, four days later, horrified the civilized world in the manner familiar to our own generation through events like those at Lockerbie and Dunblane.

Inevitably, there has been a plethora of books, films, TV documentaries and (but of course!) conspiracy theories.

Tonight we are conducting a purely factual examination of some - and only some - of the things which went wrong on that terrible night. But if our approach is non-emotional we hope that we will still convey something ot the human dimensions - the cleverness and folly ... the courage and cowardice ... the comedy and tragedy ...


Her Ladyship, Justice Buckingham - Ruth Buckingham
Sir George Fleming Q.C. - George Fleming
Mr Richard Clarke Q.C. - Richard Clarke
The Maritime Assessor - Dee Mansfield
Court Assistants - Gemma Bowes, Laura Buckingham


J. Bruce Ismay - Dennis Swanston
Sir Walter Howell - George Todd
Harold Bride - Christian Jull
Charles Lightoller - Dave Fawcett
Fred Fleet - Alec Clapperton
Robert Hitchins - Mike Coulson
John McAndrew * - Joe Rooney
Lady Lucille Duff-Gordon - Izzy Ford
Mary Kelly - Nikki Angel-Jull
Stanley Lord - Richard Thompson
Alexander Carlisle - Eddie Burton
2nd Officer Deacon * - Debbie Rose
Captain Smith * - Dee Mansfield

* Fictitious characters added to create additional insight or to fill gaps caused by lack of suitable contemporary witnesses. All others are characters from 1912


Lighting - Steve Lucas, Tony Pugh
Sound - Frogg Moody
Projectionist - Alistair Baker
Costume - Sue Paramor
Front of House - Pat Jull, Sandy Coombe, Rebecca Jones, Judith Fazackerley


George Fleming


Sue Paramor


Ian Lawrence


Is from "Street of Tears", an original sound cassette of music by Frogg Moody and with lyrics and vocals by Sue Paramor. Frogg and Sue are both History at Large members and we are very pleased to be giving "Street of Tears" its first public airing in one of our shows!


The Pheasant Inn, The Godolphin School, TOGS, The Stable Studios, Julian McDonald, Abacus, Currys

For more information about History at Large please contact us

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