By MO CRANKER on October 15, 2019.
NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER
Baz Clarke (middle) sings during a rehearsal for an upcoming performance of Titanic by Medicine Hat Musical Theatre. The show will be his first and it has man family ties.
For Baz Clarke, an upcoming role in the musical ‘Titanic’ will be more than just a chance to perform.
Clarke is set to play as a stevedore in the Medicine Hat Musical Theatre’s latest production – it is his first ever performance in a musical. His family ties with the historic boat makes his role even more special.
“With ‘Titanic’ there’s quite a few links,” Clarke said while taking a break from a Sunday afternoon rehearsal. “I’ve got an elder brother who has acted and directed professionally in the United Kingdom.
“When I visited the U.K. I found out about one of my great grandfathers, Patrick Joseph Bradley, was a stoker on the Titanic.
“He was about 39 years old and he went down with the ship – we don’t know if he’s in a grave or if his body was just never found.
“With that in mind, I figured this would be a good musical to be in.”
Clarke is originally from Southampton in the U.K. – the place where the Titanic sailed from and where much of the crew was from. Clarke’s father, and other members of his family worked different jobs at ports and on sea – his father was a stevedore.
Now a longtime Hatter, Clarke has been volunteering with MHMT since 2013 and has wanted to try his hand at performing for quite some time. He says the ‘Titanic’ presented the perfect opportunity to audition and perform.
“Since 2013 I’ve helped with building maintenance and building sets – stuff like that,” he said. “I hadn’t actually crossed that threshold until this musical – it’s always been a personal goal of mine and I’m excited to try this out.
“You can talk yourself out of doing stuff like this, in your head, so I’m glad I auditioned for this to cross it off my bucket list.”
Clarke has a few speaking parts at the beginning of the musical and transitions to other background roles over the course of the production. He says the role will be a good introduction into theatre.
“I definitely have the accent nailed,” he joked. “I don’t know if I’ll be in any others after this, but this definitely feels like the right one to be in.
“It’s been a lot of fun.”
MHMT is showing the music at the Playhouse on select dates from Oct. 25 to Nov. 9. All of the shows are sold out.
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