Going down laughing: ‘Jimmy Titanic’ might be first comedy about ‘unsinkable’ ship

Colin Hamell takes on 20 roles to tell the story of the ill-fated oceanliner in "Jimmy Titanic."
Colin Hamell takes on 20 roles to tell the story of the ill-fated oceanliner in “Jimmy Titanic.”

“Humorous” might be the last thing most people would call the story of the ill-fated Titanic, but that’s the word actor Colin Hamell uses to describe the New Repertory Theatre’s “Jimmy Titanic.”

“This is the Titanic as you’ve never seen it before,” says Hamell.

An Irish shipbuilder named Jimmy Boylan is the central character, but Hamell takes on 20 roles that include European immigrants, a politician, a New York Times editor, first-class passengers, angels — and God.

“The heaven scenes really add the humor,” explains the actor. “Archangel Gabriel is very effeminate and God is played as an inner-city, chain-smoking Dublin gangster type.”

The scenes between these two are Hamell’s favorites to perform.

“They appear in the play when they’re needed,” he explains. “The demise of the Titanic is such a tragic story. These scenes lift the audience back up again.”

There are no costume changes — or sets — in the show, so Hamell must carefully differentiate between each character.

“The key is very clear body language: the way you stand, the way you hold your hand for each character,” he says. “You get to recognize each one as the play unfolds.”

Changing accents, too, is crucial. Hamell, who grew up outside of Dublin, has had to master quite a few accents: Northern Irish, French, Spanish, English and American.

Offering more than just laughs (and there are many), “Jimmy Titanic” explores the event from all sides, and perhaps from some sides many Americans have not considered. “A lot of people don’t realize the ship was built in Belfast,” says Hamell, who plays the mayor of Northern Ireland’s capital city in part of the show. “He’s very upset that their ship building industry will suffer because the Titanic went down.”

If you go

“Jimmy Titanic”
June 19-30
Black Box Theater
321 Arsenal St., Watertown
$36, 617-923-8487
newrep.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.