Cunard will be taking Shakespeare and new work to the high seas in 2022, as it joins forces in a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to bring world class theatre to its transatlantic stage.
Available exclusively on board flagship 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, 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.
"What a thrill to welcome the Royal Shakespeare Company to Cunard! Our Transatlantic voyages are known to feature dazzling onboard experiences, and our new partnership with the RSC continues, and elevates this tradition," said Jamie Paiko, Vice President, Sales, Cunard, North America. "To offer our guests unique access to exclusive contemporary performances and of Shakespeare's finest work is something special, an unforgettable experience that 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 heartwarming 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 three year partnership will begin on May 29 until August 12, 2022 and then again from September 15 to November 13, 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.