THE five-time Tony Award-winning production Titanic The Musical is to open its first ever UK and Ireland tour in Southampton, the city from which the historic liner set sail on its fateful maiden voyage.

Opening at Mayflower Theatre in April 2018, the critically acclaimed, multi award-winning production tells the story of the final hours of the passengers and crew onboard RMS Titanic.

The highlight of the run will be a special late gala performance on Saturday, April 14, next year, which will follow the events as they unfolded in real time. A series of community events and education workshops will also run in partnership with Sea City Museum.

In the final hour of April 14 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg and ‘the unsinkable ship’ slowly sank. It was one of the most tragic disasters of the 20th century. More than 1,500 men, women and children lost their lives.

Based on real people on board, Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s stunning musical focuses on their hopes and aspirations. Unaware of the fate that awaits them, the third class immigrants dream of a better life in America, the newly-enfranchised second class dream of achieving the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and the millionaire barons of the first class dream of their mastery lasting forever.

Mayflower Theatre chief executive Michael Ockwell said: “Our city was devastated by the impact of this tragic historical event and we are proud to help commemorate the lives of so many Southampton residents with this amazing theatrical experience.”

Speaking from his home in New York, Titanic composer Yeston told the Daily Echo: “When I told people I was going to write this show, they said are you crazy? It’s the worst maritime disaster in history. But the show I wanted to create was all about people’s dreams, their noble sacrifice and their strength in times of adversity.

“That story is coming home and I’m sure it will have a special resonance in Southampton.

“You will see Mr and Mrs Straus, who owned Macy’s. She was the only first class woman who didn’t get in a lifeboat. They died in each other’s arms. You will also meet a stoker from the Midlands who worked seven decks below but who sneaked up to the telegraph room desperate to propose to his girlfriend.

“The surprise of Titanic was the amount of optimism and positive thought in even the worst circumstances. The musical celebrates the bravery and the indomitability of the human spirit.”

Following its Southampton run, the show will then visit theatres nationwide.

The original Broadway production won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

Having received its UK premiere in 2013 at the Southwark Playhouse, the production returned to London in 2016 for a 10-week season at the Charing Cross Theatre, where it won overwhelming critical acclaim.

Titanic the Musical runs from April 12 to 21, 2018. Tickets go on sale next Friday from 023 8071 1811 or