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.