Praise For The White Star Lady
Written By Brogan Pastro and Maddie Taylor-Greg
White Star Lady from Rossland’s Iron Mountain Theatre, written by Mark Pollard and Jane Gaudet, music by Nadine Tremblay and directed by R.J. Peters, came to Rossland’s St. Andrews United Church on the weekend of October 22nd and 23rd. Jane Gaudet’s one-woman performance thoroughly impressed the audience attending the second evening show. A medley of beautiful music, fantastic acting and enchanting props, White Star Lady embodies the story of Violet Jessop, a stewardess and survivor of all three sister ships: RMS Olympic, RMS Titanic, and HMHS Britannic.
The story begins with Violet’s “dismissal” as a worker on the Royal Mail Line and her search for work. She enjoys life at sea, so she reluctantly signs on to become a stewardess of the ship “Olympic”, the sister ship to the Titanic. Once finished her voyage on the Olympic, she is handpicked to be a stewardess on the Titanic, which, as we all know, sinks. However, Miss Jessop is lucky and was given entry into a lifeboat, which ultimately saves her from meeting a watery demise. After the sinking of the Titanic, Violet takes a vacation to Australia to “escape [death], which is on every corner”. She has other motives for her vacation to Australia, though. She also goes to visit her “long-lost love”, an officer that she met on the Royal Mail Line. However, their separation of class doesn’t permit their union, and Violet returns to England with a heavy heart, proclaiming she is “not attached to a man’s wallet”. She is educated as a nurse and takes part in World War I, ironically working on the third sister ship of Titanic and Olympic, the HMS Britannia. The HMS Britannia nearly sinks after striking a mine, after which she travels home for some rest and relaxation. At the end of the production, Violet admits to working at sea for 40 years after the sinking of the HMS Britannia, as she could never get enough of the sea. “Violet” sings one, final number and the audience bursts forth in thunderous applause.
This show was spectacular, and the music composed by Nadine Tremblay was nothing short of amazing! Haunting vocal melodies and fantastic script writing made for a very entertaining and exciting show. Jane receives my highest commendation as her soprano vocal range would impress even the most discriminating adjudicator. I must also applaud the many marvelous ways that she differentiated characters, from accent to body position. I would be hard pressed to find anyone in the audience who did not thoroughly enjoy her show!
For those who missed the show and would like to see it there will be an opportunity to attend the performance of ‘White Star Lady’ in Nelson on the 19th and 20th at 7pm at the TNT Playhouse. For more information check out their website.