February 17, 2012
We Are Cunard
Guest Blog: Paul O’Loughlin, Entertainment Director & Zoe List, Programme Coordinator
On Sunday 29 January in the port of Durban we were privileged to welcome Sir David and Lady Carina Frost on board for a short but extremely rewarding stay on board Queen Mary 2.
On our first sea day the film of the day was naturally Frost/Nixon, the 2008 film version of writer Peter Morgan’s legendary battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, at the time a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, in the story of the historic encounter that changed both their lives. Directed by Ron Howard the highly regarded film was introduced to a full Illuminations theatre by Sir David himself, with guests having the unique opportunity to see one of the film’s subjects recount insightful anecdotes about one of the world’s most viewed television interviews of all time.
On Tuesday it was time for Sir David’s highly anticipated talk in the Royal Court Theatre. Titled ‘Interviews I Shall Never Forget – a cascade of memories and hilarious anecdotes’, the 1,100 seat theatre was completely full and completely engrossed in tales from across Sir David’s glittering career, the electric atmosphere switched easily from intense concentration to raucous applause ending in a well deserved standing ovation.
There was no time to rest, however, as Sir David was swept up to the Bridge to blow the famous noon whistles and sign our visitor book.
Sir David and Lady Carina were thoroughly enjoying their time on board and speaking to our guests around the ship, even when Sir David was occasionally spot-checked for those famous red socks. On Wednesday it was time to once again take to the stage in the Royal Court Theatre, this time for an interview with Entertainment Director, Paul O’Loughlin, followed by a chance for the audience to ask questions.
That evening it was time to say a fond farewell, as a specially arranged tender took Sir David ashore in Mauritius ready to fly home for his next engagement, returning to Queen Mary 2 with Sir James and Lady Galway on board, whose blog will follow shortly. In Sir David’s own words, an unforgettable and all too brief experience.
Upon returning back to the UK, Sir David sent us a few words about his trip on our flagship:
“We just had a perfect trip on the QM2. The food was terrific and you would not have exhausted the selection in the wine list, even if you were one of the guests who were on the four month world tour!
I was doing a couple of shows in the Royal Court Theatre and you could not wish for a better auditorium. The audiences – of 1,100 people each time – were very quick on the uptake and very appreciative all the way through. When it came to the ad lib questions from the audience at the end, they were without exception, on the ball every time.
Not content with providing the food and wine, Cunard also provided continuous sunshine for all four days of our trip. And a giant TV set in the bar on the 2nd floor, kept soccer aficionados like me, up to date with the latest games from the Premiership.
Was there anything else that I would have liked but did not get? Yes, – I would like to have been able to double the length of my stay!
Here’s to the next time!”