I think we all remember the first time we watched Titanic; it’s a classic that I still think is brilliant even 20 years on!
The movie does a great job of showing us the fear and confusion that the crew and passengers on-board must have felt, and so when Titanic The Exhibition came to Sydney, I wanted to visit to get to know more of the real-life stories.
It’s the world’s largest and most comprehensive Titanic touring exhibition, where visitors can experience the sights, sounds and stories as if you were on-board. It’s currently being held at Byron Kennedy Hall at Moore Park, until 4th February 2018.
“We are able to reproduce the true grandeur of Titanic’s interiors and create a journey on-board the gleaming palace of hope and wonder that was Titanic.”
On arrival, you’re issued a boarding pass, which identifies you as a real passenger from the ship. I was Katherine ‘Kate’ Connolly, age 22 from Curtrasana, Country Cavan in Ireland. I was in second class, on my way to join my older sister in New York, and I was sharing a cabin with two other girls who were hoping to find work in America.
The exhibition starts with information about the ship’s conception and construction, including over 300 artefacts dating back over 100 years. This leads to recreations of the luxurious interiors, such as the Grand Staircase, First Class Cabin and the cold, starry deck. Meanwhile, memorabilia from the movie is also on display, with snippets of music from the soundtrack to set the mood. It was a great afternoon exploring and familiarising myself again with what happened, but I was a little disappointed with the few real items they actually had from the ship.
The experience ends in the Memorial Gallery, where I learn that Kate Connolly and both of her friends sadly died on that cold early morning of April 15, 1912.
A few interesting facts I came across:
- The inspiration for Rose and Jack in the movie came from many of the true love stories on the Titanic. Thirteen couples on-board the ship were on their honeymoon.
- Café Parisien was a first class cafe onboard the Titanic, designed to evoke the quaint charm of a sidewalk cafe is Paris. It featured large windows, climbing ivy and stunning views of the sea. Sounds lovely.
- As the Titanic began to sink, eight brave musicians came together and played throughout the chaos.
Once you’ve finished, there is a gift shop to browse; I walked away with an exhibition program, a notebook, a set of postcards for my collection and a mug so not a bad haul! I visited with my mum who got a “Heart of the Ocean” necklace – suitable for a special occasion one day, I’m sure.
Tickets start from $18 depending on what time of week/day your chosen session time is, and it takes roughly 1.5 hours to get around the exhibition. For more information, visit the website here.