'Titanic' musical casts VIXX's Ken in a leading role

Ken will play the role of real-life Titanic stoker Frederick Barrett in the musical.

VIXX Ken in Titanic musical
VIXX Ken in a character poster for Titanic the Musical. instagram.com/keken_0406

Fans of VIXX can rejoice as singer and actor Lee Jae-hwan, better known by his stage name Ken, has been cast in a leading role in the South Korean production of 'Titanic the Musical.' He will be playing a stoker by the name of Frederick Barrett.

As noted by Allkpop, unlike the 1997 James Cameron film, which presented a fictional love story between an upper class English girl and a third class traveller, the musical will tell the story of the crewmen on RMS Titanic.

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From the character poster featuring Ken, it seems Frederick Garrett looks more like Leonardo DiCaprio's fictional character Jack Dawson in the 1997 film. However, unlike Jack, Barrett was a real person who served as a leading stoker in Titanic's boiler room no. 6. He survived the sinking of the ship and was put in charge of lifeboat no. 13. The next day, he along with all the passengers of the said lifeboat was picked up by RMS Carpathia.

Curiously enough, there was a real J.Dawson in Titanic and he was trimmer on the ill-fated ship, whose job it was to load the coal into the ship and then deliver it to the stoker in the boiler room. His name was Joseph and like Jack, he too died of Hypothermia. His body was found floating lifeless on the Atlantic Ocean and recovered by the cable repair ship CS Mackay-Bennett.

Joseph Dawson was off duty when the ship struck an iceberg at 11.40 p.m. April 14, 1912. Being a member of the crew and a male, he must have known his chances at survival were slim. So, he tucked his National Sailors and Firemen's Union card into his dungarees before leaving the ship. The card was how his body was identified. Grave number 227 in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia is marked as "J. Dawson."

As for Ken, his character is described as a romantic who dreams of proposing to his lover at the end of the ship's course. Again, interestingly, Joseph Dawson was in love with Nellie, the sister of Titanic fireman called John Priest. Priest survived the sinking though and Nellie never saw her love again.

The original 'Titanic' musical opened on April 23, 1997 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, Manhattan and went on to win five Tony Awards and one Drama Desk Award. James Cameron's 11-Oscar winning film 'Titanic' opened a few months later in November 1 and became both a critical as well as commercial success.

This article was first published on September 8, 2017
Related topics : K-pop