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Queen Elizabeth

Breaking News – Cunard Announces Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company

July 13, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 90 days

As Queen Mary 2 heads back to her homeport of Southampton after an Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing and Queen Victoria enjoys her second Baltic Voyage of the season, I am delighted to bring you more news about Queen Elizabeth, with less than three months before she enters service. Yes I’m excited to share the latest details of our new Queen’s original concept in theatrical entertainment at sea, with the newly formed Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company.

You’ll have seen some of the latest pictures of the stunning Royal Court Theatre on Queen Elizabeth, so it’s now time to announce the brand new repertoire of shows that will be premiered there, by the Company’s 29 singers, dancers, actors and musicians.

The new lineup will include the hit, A Slice of Saturday Night, which is a popular nostalgic pastiche of 1960s music, which has been staged in London and toured extensively throughout the UK and US.

Adapted especially for the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company by its original writers, the Heather Brothers, A Slice of Saturday Night will feature all the Theatre Company members, in what will be the largest production show Cunard has ever staged.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company will also present a variety of musical productions and abridged versions of popular plays such as a Neil Simon triple bill and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The Neil Simon show will feature three scenes; one each from some of the playwright’s best-loved shows; Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Plaza Suite and The Odd Couple. Each will be linked by their setting: an apartment or hotel suite.

At the conclusion of each show, the audience will be given the opportunity for an informal question and answer session with the actors.

The Piccadilly Line, will feature the talents of the entire Theatre Company, exploring the spoken word, song and prose as characters get on and off a train journey on the world’s oldest underground rail system. The action will be set in the shell of a London tube train carriage.

Hotel Royale will be a musical production featuring 16 singers and dancers, who whimsically bring to life the story of a hotel which is past its prime. Once the playground of the rich and famous, it is now home to some quirky staff and unusual guests

Sing will be a lively production based on the popularity of Singers in Concert, performed on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. It will feature 21 musicians and four singers on stage, creating a dynamic, audience-pleasing atmosphere in the Royal Court Theatre from the very first note. The show’s influences are drawn from contemporary musical theatre, pop and classic songs which will be very familiar to the audience.

La Danza will be a cutting edge dance production show casing the virtuoso talents of our dance ensemble. Following in the footsteps of two hugely successful shows currently running on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Apassionata and Dance Passion, La Danza will delight guests who enjoy cutting edge choreography performed by our exceptionally talented performers.

Queen Elizabeth’s guests will also be able to take part in a specially written panel quiz show which will offer an afternoon of friendly banter. Satire quiz shows such as Have I Got News for You? and QI are very popular and the Theatre Company will have its own take on topical news and entertainment stories.

Peter Shanks, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, said: “The entertainment on Queen Elizabeth is the most extensive ever seen on a Cunard liner, mixing tradition with satire. The Royal Court Theatre is as good as any London West End or Broadway Theatre, and we have created our own Theatre Company to really bring it to life. From the best of Broadway to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, we offer something for everybody”.

I had a chance to catch up with him recently on Queen Victoria in the first of two Video Blogs.



Belinda King who heads Belinda King Creative Productions, adds: “We are thrilled and honoured to be able to continue our successful partnership with Cunard in providing the production shows for this stunning new ship. With the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company we look forward to delighting Cunarders old and new with a wonderfully entertaining selection of shows, now including original theatre productions as well as established stage favourites. Once more Cunard is raising the standard in on board entertainment and we are proud to be working alongside them!”

Queen Elizabeth continues the tradition of presenting Cunard’s Royal Nights, but with the debut of some very special evenings.

New evenings will include The Cunard Ball, The Starlight Ball and the Elizabethan Ball. There’ll also be London Swings which will featured on the same evening as Slice of Saturday Night, with its inspirations taken from flower power and popular British 60s’ icons such as Twiggy, Mary Quant, and Carnaby Street.

In addition, Queen Elizabeth will offer Cunard’s award-winning Insights enrichment programme which introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished academics. Through a series of lectures, Q&As, social gatherings and workshops, guests will be able to connect with personalities who have achieved distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature.

New for Queen Elizabeth will be the introduction of Professional Insights, a series of expert workshops on diverse subjects including antiques and auctions, sculpture, movie reviews, performance poetry, and even weather forecasting.

I chatted to Cunard’s Director of Entertainment, Martin Lilly about the exciting new concepts on Queen Elizabeth in the second of our Video Blogs:

I hope you’re as excited to see all this new entertainment as I am to be a part of it; it’s certainly going to ground breaking and dynamic. I’m going to try and get to the rehearsal studios in Northampton while I am at home, but in the meantime, I’ll be back on Thursday with a special Blog featuring Cunard’s White Star Academy busy at work with new crew members who are joining our expanding fleet. Cheers for now, Alastair.

  1. Beryl Moss says:

    The entertainment programme for Queen Elizabeth looks amazing and look forward to seeing some of what is on offer when we embark on our cruise next year. Also looking forward to seeing the latest pictures of Queen Elizabeth when you return to Italy later this month.

  2. Dana says:


    My name is Dana Rosenzweig and I’m the managing editor of Travel Onion (www.travelonion.com), a website which aggregates the best travel-related blogs from around the world. We’ve identified you as one of the best blogs about cruising. I’m writing because we hope you might be in touch. We’d love to tell you more about Travel Onion and why we have selected your blog as one of the world’s best travel blogs. Could you please email me at dana@travelonion.com with the best contact info to reach you?

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  3. Tori Walker says:

    Alastair, I can hear the excitement in your voice just reading this post. Always love watching your video blogs. The set design is truly amazing – on a ship no less! Anyway, as I’ll always be your favorite passenger, drop me a line soon. xo

  4. judith appleton says:

    Great news-the shows seem really different. I presume there will be a variety of interesting and famous names entertaining too. You do keep whetting the appetite.

  5. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    As an added incentive and to recognise the writings of Agatha Christie – a adaptation of her books and plays – suggest – and there there were none – 2010 -even without Barry Fitzgerald, for the remembrance of the great English Writer. Perhaps the group may desire to conduct Readings of fine English Literature – even Hazlitt’s – Fashionable Affectations and the wit of Wilde – why not a journey through English literature, even The Ghost Train – written by the character from Dad’s Army. Even readings from Australian poets and writers – (‘there was movement at the Station for the Son of Old Regret had got away’)

  6. john bramwell says:

    Hi Alastair

    Sounds good and certainly different, but does this mean we will not seeing any special guests in the evening shows. We saw many top acts on the QE2 is that a thing of the past?



  7. Barbara says:

    The new theatre productions sound very nice. I just hope the music will not be too loud as on my last cruise (not Cunard) I had to use ear plugs as the sound was deafening and on two evenings walked out of a show. Many people complained to no avail. Older people as not always deaf !!

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  11. Carole Terry-Symes says:

    Will you be doing any Bon-Voyage parties for agents to tour the ships at any of the ports?

  12. Sharon West says:

    Cunard, Starlight and Elizabethan balls on QE Nov 8th. Please describe each. In costume? What is deriguer for Cunard Ball, Starlight Ball and Elizabethan? Thanks! Sharon

  13. John Moore says:

    Looking forward to seeing all the new shows

  14. Freda & Bill Cureton says:

    Congratulations Alistair & Co. on the creation of THE QUEEN ELIZABETH THEATRE COMPANY to be performing such a wonderful variety of productions in the beautiful Royal Court Theatre. Having experienced many excellent productions on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, we look forward to this new Cunard concept and we wish Queen Elizabeth’s Entertainment Department every success.

    Bill & Freda Cureton

  15. Beaufort says:

    We simply cannot wait to see more of Belinda King’s shows – they truly are the best at sea and on land. Congratulations!

  16. Beaufort says:

    Will Belinda King herself be holding any talks/lectures on how the shows were created?

  17. Athena Tooze says:

    Can’t wait to board the Queen Elizabeth and enjoy the lovely entertainment. Alostaor. it would be fabulous and a real treat if you could stage a retro show of the good old English Music Hall Days. Those lively and catchy tunes will most certainly enhance the atmosphere. Such great artists as Gracie Fields, Stanley Holloway, Arthur Treacher, etc. etc. should never be cast aside. They did so much for the morale of the people when times were tough and their artistic talents most definitely should live on to infinity. That was genuine talent, not what we have today where a good many so-called singers need so many props to try to enhance their voices and their lyrics just keep repeating the same words over and over.

    All the best in the latest enterprise.

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