Cunard takes Shakespeare to the high seas with the Royal Shakespeare Company
From the original 2018 RSC production of Miss Littlewood, a musical by Sam Kenyon
Photo by Topher McGrillis © RSC
Southampton, England: Cunard will be bringing Shakespeare and new work to the high seas in 2022, as it joins forces in a first-of-its-kind partnership for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to bring world class theatre to its transatlantic stage.
Available exclusively on board Queen Mary 2, guests will enjoy tailored theatrical performances by the RSC, which creates captivating theatre by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and other literary legends past and present. The performances will be available for all guests on board our flagship, including a unique blend of Shakespeare’s iconic love scenes in a brand-new piece called Boundless as the Sea, created by Owen Horsley.
Guests will also have the opportunity to see critically acclaimed new work from the RSC with Miss Littlewood: a musical by Sam Kenyon exploring the life of one of theatre’s most playful and radical figures, making its transatlantic debut.
For those interested in learning what it takes to be an RSC actor, the on board cast will be leading a series of workshops that explore their craft. Guests will also be able to access ‘Shakespeare Tales’, intimate, informal events where the actors will perform their personal favourite sonnets and speeches, and answer questions from the audience.
Vice President, Brand and Product at Cunard, Lee Powell, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Royal Shakespeare Company on board our flagship, Queen Mary 2. To be able to offer our guests access to unique performances by world leaders in both contemporary theatre and Shakespeare’s finest work, is an extraordinary opportunity which I know our guests will fully immerse themselves in.”
Erica Whyman, RSC Acting Artistic Director, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Cunard to bring our performances to the guests of Queen Mary 2 together with unique opportunities to get close to working theatre artists and learn more about our house playwright. The RSC ignites imaginations and expands horizons, and Shakespeare’s plays allow us to imagine new and remarkable worlds, so this partnership has a perfect synergy. Boundless as the Sea, which is what Juliet calls her love for Romeo, will be a heart-warming taster of all the ways Shakespeare explores love and romance, and we are also very pleased to be presenting a version of the joyous, quirky and toe-tapping Miss Littlewood. This is an exciting new venture for us, and we look forward very much to meeting new audiences on board.”
In addition, Queen Mary 2 will host a touring exhibition, ‘Digital Diorama: An Augmented Journey Through Shakespeare’s Stratford’. Guests will use devices to experience scenes from his plays come to life before their eyes. Some of the RSC’s most popular productions in recent years including Hamlet, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor and As You Like it will also be screened in Cunard’s on board cinema, Illuminations.
The 3-year partnership will begin on 29 May until 12 August 2022 and then again from 15 September to 13 November 2022 and will offer this bespoke programme exclusively to Cunard guests on Queen Mary 2 throughout these two periods. Guests will experience either Boundless as the Sea or Miss Littlewood on each featured voyage. Dates for future years to be announced at a later date.
For more information about our transatlantic crossings please visit https://www.cunard.com/en-gb/cruise-destinations/transatlantic-cruises
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Cunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, since 1840, celebrating an incredible 181 years of operation. A pioneer in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria with destinations including Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia. In 2017, Cunard announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet. This investment is part of the company’s ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1998 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service. Cunard is based at Carnival House in Southampton and has been owned since 1998 by Carnival Corporation & plc.
About the RSC
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates world class theatre, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world, performing plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning an exceptionally wide range of original work from contemporary writers.
The Royal Shakespeare Company is committed to creating world class theatre for, with and by audiences and theatre makers of all ages. Their transformative Learning Programmes reaches over half a million young people and adults each year. As a Teaching and Learning theatre, the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers and continues to nurture the talent of the future. The RSC is also a leader in creative immersive technologies and digital development.
The RSC recognises the climate emergency and work hard to embed environmental sustainability into its operations, creative work and business practice, making a commitment to continually reduce its carbon footprint.