May 26, 2011
We Are Cunard
I write this on board Queen Victoria sailing in-between Cobh and Bilbao. That adds up to crossing both the Irish Sea and the top of the Bay of Biscay. Last night we had Force 8-9 with up to 50 knot winds – but happily today things are a lot calmer and the ship is riding very well. So – never let it be said I am a ‘Fair Weather President’ – and I am in good company with our guests and Ship’s Company. I will write a blog shortly as to how my visit went and some of the things I got up to. For now though let me introduce a guest blogger – Helen Longworth. She is with RADA – and we are getting rave reviews from the RADA activities on Queen Mary 2.
RADA Company Manager
Queen Mary 2
The company of six actors and alumni of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art are delighted to be working in collaboration with Cunard on board Queen Mary 2. As a part of the ship’s fantastic programme of entertainment, RADA are presenting two specially adapted plays; Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is stylishly set in the 1940s to the background music of Glen Miller and the Andrews Sisters, and the ‘Canterbury Tales’ is a bawdy romp told by actor musicians in the style of medieval travelling players.
RADA are also enjoying performing in other spaces around the ship, with their Jazz and Beat poetry in the Chart Room; Passion and Piano love poetry in the Winter Garden, both musically accompanied; spooky ghost stories in the Illuminations theatre and bedtime stories in the Grand Lobby, where guests can sit comfortably with a nightcap (cloth or alcoholic!). It is a varied programme which offers something for everyone.
The whole RADA team of actors would like to express how much we are also enjoying being part of the Cunard Enrichment Programme by offering fun and relaxed workshops to guests in the art of storytelling. The workshops have been very well attended and focus on what it is that makes a great storyteller using vocal and physical exercises taken from the acting course at RADA, whose alumni include Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Juliet Stevenson and Richard Attenborough.
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the guests who have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the exercises and activities. The end result has been their sharing of great stories, not only of their time on board Queen Mary 2 but also from their very varied lives and experiences. Connections have been forged between individuals travelling alone and groups of people finding common ground; two people even realising, through sharing their stories, that they were from the same town.
“I would just like to express how much you have made the trip so fantastic for me. The workshops were fun and gave me many ideas to take back to my teaching at University. Thanks once again.”
(Diane Rushton, Sheffield)
The below photograph is of RADA’s very first ‘graduating class’ of 2011. Guests who attend the full schedule of workshops all receive a certificate from RADA, and certainly have a lot of fun achieving it.
We look forward very much to meeting the guests on the voyages and transatlantic crossings to come.
Thank you Helen for a great guest blog. Before I sign off, I must also thank one of our readers – Daryl Cooper - for highlighting some discrepancies on how each ship’s webcam displays, we have reviewed and improved the hardware and they now all show the same comprehensive information for each ship.
That is all for today – back soon with an update from Queen Victoria and with a full update on the first ‘Songwriters Crossing’ that took place on Queen Mary 2 recently.