18 April 2011 – As Cunard Line prepares to begin flagship Queen Mary 2’s seventh Transatlantic season on 26 April, the company announced today a new dimension in entertainment, bringing to life even more unique offerings. New on board entertainment experiences include 3D films through a partnership with RealD, dynamic and interactive songwriting workshops, and RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) “street theatre” performances and writing workshops.
3D Partnership with RealD
Starting on Transatlantic Crossings in early May, Queen Mary 2 will offer 3D films in association with RealD, the world’s most widely used digital 3D projection technology, presented in the ship’s stadium-seating theatre, Illuminations.
Throughout June, the opera “Carmen” – a co-production of RealD and London’s Royal Opera House – will be featured, providing viewers the best seat in the house, taking them on a magic carpet ride into the heart of this famed opera – immersing them into this exciting story of love, jealousy and betrayal. CARMEN IN 3D is a dazzling film, filled with some of the best-loved music ever written and performed by a world-class cast. With English subtitles throughout, it is the perfect event for life-long opera fans and first-timers alike.
In addition, upcoming summer 3D blockbusters will be shown, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Professional Insights Songwriting Programme
Also new this year, professional songwriter and producer Chris Difford, formerly of the 1970’s British new wave band Squeeze, will conduct songwriting workshops with four other professional songwriters as part of the Professional Insights series. With Difford’s songwriting programme, guests will collaborate in small groups with guitarists, pianists, singers and bass players from Queen Mary 2’s performance company. The best songwriters will then have the opportunity to record their songs in a studio on board and be able to take them home. Difford and the songwriters also will be performing well-known Squeeze favourites during the voyage. Difford’s Professional Insights songwriting programme will be offered on the following voyages:
* 10 -17 May (Southampton – NY)
* 24 June – 1 July (Southampton – NY)
* 15-22 August (Southampton – NY)
* 20-27 September (Southampton – NY)
* 27 September – 7 October (New England and Canadian Sojourn)
“Cunard’s guests have come to expect top-notch entertainment and enrichment programmes, and our new offerings will enhance their experience even more,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Once again, the worlds of theatre, music and literature truly come alive on board, providing guests the combination of accessible world-class entertainment with the opportunity to tap into their own creative sides.”
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)
The RADA graduate company continues to celebrate its longstanding relationship with Cunard with daily workshops and classic performances. This year, RADA will go beyond Queen Mary 2’s Royal Court Theatre to feature several new interactive offerings including dramatic re-enactments throughout the ship. These “street theatre” performances will be taken from such classic works as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing:
* The Pilgrim’s Journey: The actors will travel in costume around the ship in characters from The Canterbury Tales as they would travel to Canterbury; they will stop several times for a short scene/improvisation
* Much Ado Around the Ship: Two groups of actors will perform short scenes from the play around the ship
* A Bedtime Story: Taking place in the Grand Lobby, one of the RADA actors will sit in an armchair and read a bedtime story, surrounded by a small group of guests; requests can be taken for night six of the voyage
* The Canterbury Tales Performance, Royal Court Theatre: RADA will perform a different Canterbury Tale each month, performing the complete works over the course of two years; at the end of each performance, the audience will be encouraged to choose their favourite tale; the actors will then ask for short stories to be called The Cunard Tales to be written by members of the audience; these will then be workshopped and performed by the actors and participants
Also new for 2011, RADA appears in two of Queen Mary 2’s lounges, blending musical components with performances featuring poetry, piano and jazz including:
* Jazz Poetry with the Mark Hodgson Trio, Chart Room: The actors will perform rhythmic, jazz and rap poetry accompanied by the trio
* Passion and Piano, Winter Garden: The actors will read passionate poetry and prose accompanied by the piano, and will also read chosen pieces and take requests from the audience.
On a luxury cruise vacation aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, guests revel in the experience of the voyage itself, not just the destination – enjoying activities such as the only planetarium and largest library at sea, white-gloved afternoon tea service, the engaging Cunard Insights enrichment programme and West End-style productions, as well as the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub on board a ship.
For more information on Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.