Byron Kennedy Hall, at the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, is currently hosting Titanic The Exhibition – Where You're the Passenger. In an ongoing exhibition, but only for a limited time, the exhibition began on the 8th of April, with special prices for admission on the tenth of April, the day the ship sailed off to meet its fate at the hands of an iceberg. Entry includes a boarding pass for an actual passenger from the cruise and the exhibition is filled with replicas created from images of cabins for first class, second class and third class, including the dining rooms and various artefacts such as plates, silverware, and chronicles the stories of several passengers along the way, as well as the journey from Belfast to the spot in the Atlantic Ocean where the Titanic and about 1500 crew and passengers descended into the depths of the ocean.
It goes through each day, with images of newspapers and changing reports of the number who had died or survived, leading towards a list of all the passengers who were on board, and whether they lived or died. After the historical artefacts and exhibits have been viewed, it moves into a section that highlights the 1997 movie directed by James Cameron, showing props, costumes and the 'Heart of the Ocean', as well as discussing the creative license that the film took compared to the reality for many below deck passengers.
This was an informative and interesting exhibition. The day I attended was the anniversary of the departure from Belfast. And school holidays, so it was packed – so be prepared to wait during peak times past the time on your ticket, and leave at least ninety minutes to go through the exhibition, though if it is crowded, it may take longer, so leave allowances for this as well. It was still enjoyable, and highlighted some information that I hadn't known about it before attending, and giving a human face to the statistics of lives saved and lost, ensuring that these people are not forgotten in the dusty depths of an archive somewhere, but known by name, remembered beyond being one of the dead.
The limited interactive parts and the 1920s hall give it an early twentieth century feel – which I felt added to the experience, where you could immerse yourself in that world, on the deck, feel the sense of the wide expanse of never-ending sea and sky that the darkened floor and ceiling with pinpricks of light to represent the stars simulate.