In the Grand Cunard Tradition, Entertainment Aboard Queen Victoria Will Strike a Visual High Note



    
    The highest calibre theatrical productions and the only private boxes at
    sea make Cunard's newest ocean liner a natural choice for theatre
    aficionados
    

    VALENCIA, Calif., Aug. 30 /CNW/ -- As Queen Victoria prepares to enter
service in December 2007, a team of 16 classically trained singers and dancers
is already rehearsing four major theatrical productions that will form the
core of the ocean liner's inaugural entertainment schedule.  From concept to
curtain, Cunard will have spent nearly two years crafting sophisticated shows
that engage guests with a striking balance of opulence and innovation.
    "What Cunard presents is on a par with the highest calibre of world class
productions," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line, referencing the
line's legacy of premium onboard entertainment.  "From the set decor and
talent to the beautiful costumes by renowned theatrical designers, the work
reflects a deep understanding of our guests' cultural intellect.  Our
investment in entertainment is considerable and includes every aspect of the
experience, from the sight lines in the theatre to the hand-selected creative
team."
    To ensure that the theatre venue is as extravagant as the shows
themselves, painstaking detail went into designing the Royal Court Theatre, a
three-tiered venue unsurpassed in form and function.  "We looked at several
theatres and were inspired by the spectacular spaces designed by noted English
theatrical architect Frank Matcham, whose dramatic multi-tiered spaces made
him one of the most prolific theatrical architects of all time," said
Coordinating Architect Giacomo Mortola.  "In every sense, the Royal Court
Theatre captures that same feeling of grandeur and luxury."
    Among the theatre's most distinguishing features is the collection of
sixteen private boxes -- the first-ever at sea -- that frame the stage and
afford 48 lucky guests exclusive seating from which to enjoy the performances.
Seating from two to eight guests each depending on the size, the boxes are
furnished with graceful armchairs and cocktail tables.  Individual-sized Veuve
Clicquot bottles and sweet or savory treats (depending on the show time) are
served by white-gloved theatre ushers.  Following the performance, guests have
an opportunity to meet the cast backstage.
    The Royal Court Theatre is a visual tribute to Matcham's
turn-of-the-century theatrical design works.  Known as the foremost theatre
designer in the early 20th century, his vast output comprised more than 80
theatres and influenced theatre design throughout several decades.  His
notable London landmarks include The Coliseum built in 1904 and now the home
of the English National Opera, the London Palladium, Victoria Palace and
Alhambra Theatre in Leicester Square.  "From the moment of arrival, guests
will be awed by the sheer magnificence of the space," says Martin Lilly,
Cunard's director of creative entertainment.  "The ambience is very much that
of a 19th century theatre, with rich brocade fabric dressing the walls, a deep
red velvet curtain, private boxes featuring an ornate frieze of gold leaf, and
murals framing the walls above the stage.  It is everything the Cunard guest
would expect."
    According to Lilly, that expectation naturally extends to what's on
stage. "Because our guests are among the most sophisticated and well-traveled
in the world, we are able to be bolder with our show concepts."
    
    Shows as Spectacular as the Setting
    
    Nowhere will the ship's Victorian era sensibility come more brilliantly
to life than in Victoriana, a spectacular show that will take guests back in
time to the apex of the British Empire, paying tribute to milestones of the
era. Victoriana captures Music Hall memories with splendid character
performances, a touch of Victorian Gothic featuring contemporary choreography
and period costumes.  After each Victoriana performance, guests carry the mood
into the Queens Room for a jubilant Royal Victoriana themed ball.
    Dance Passion celebrates the exuberant world of dance.  Outstanding
international dancers execute superb and diverse choreography, capturing the
magic of Gene Kelly, the sensual Argentine Tango, Salsa and Samba.  The show
delivers the grace and elegance of classic dance to the vibrant energy of
Swing and Jump Jive.
    Cunard tapped Dmitri Iliukhin, choreographer and former Riverdance
performer, to give Celtic Heartbeat an authentic resonance.  Featuring a mix
of original and traditional Irish music, song and dance, it tells the story of
a young Irishman and his search for fortune, capturing all the joy, conflict,
humor, heartbreak and romance of his journey.  It features two principle
dancers, four singers who take the role of the narrators, and a full dance
ensemble.
    The final production, A Stroke of Genius, pairs world-famous works of art
with popular music.  This fresh and eclectic show features a blend of Andy
Warhol and the Rolling Stones, Edward Hopper's American Realism and the music
of Hoagy Carmichael, and ballerinas coming to life against a backdrop of Edgar
Degas' French Impressionist paintings.
    The productions are the work of the same team who produce acclaimed shows
for sister ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2.  UK-based Belinda King
Creative Productions works in tandem with Cunard to create "a voyage of light
and sound, music and dance, with passion and soul, elegance and style," says
King.
    In addition to the production shows, Singers in Concert brings the
combined orchestras of the Queens Room and Royal Court Theatre together for a
concert-style show combining classic standards, contemporary songs and
original musical arrangements.  An amusing and poignant musical presentation
that light-heartedly explores the intriguing dynamics between men and women,
the show features songs by Burt Bacharach, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Gilbert
O'Sullivan and others.
    
    About Queen Victoria
    
    The 90,000-ton Queen Victoria will offer the very best of the heritage
and traditions of Cunard Line, along with all modern day luxuries including
some exciting innovations.  These will include the first traditional West
End-style private boxes at sea in the Royal Court Theatre, the first Cunardia
museum exhibit at sea, housing Cunard artifacts and memorabilia along with the
first two-storey library at sea featuring an elegant spiral staircase.  The
ship will also feature the line's celebrated Queens Grill and Princess Grill
accommodations and dining, further enhanced on Queen Victoria with an
exclusive deck terrace and an al fresco dining option.
    From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at the
sophistication that differentiates a Cunard liner.  This will be most evident
in the ship's adherence to liner traditions of the past, with elegant public
rooms, many on a grand scale, featuring rich wood paneling, intricate mosaics
and gleaming chandeliers.  There will also be a grand, colonial-style
conservatory complete with a retractable glass roof.
    As well as being the second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Victoria's
arrival is particularly noteworthy as it will mark the first time that three
Cunard Queens have been in service together in the company's 168-year history
(she joins the world's grandest liner, Queen Mary 2 and the world's most
famous and best-loved liner, QE2).
    For more information about Cunard or Queen Victoria, contact your travel
professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to http://www.cunard.com.
    
    About Cunard Line
    
    Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2 and QE2,
has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of
British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer,
Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840.  Cunard voyages bring together
like-minded travelers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star
Service(SM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure, the legacy of historic
voyages and transatlantic travel.  Queen Victoria joins the fleet in December
2007.
    Cunard Line is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines.  The
exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line,
Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn.  Sharing a passion
to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines
appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets.  Together they offer
exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable
destinations.




For further information:

For further information: Jackie Chase, +1-661-753-1035, 
jchase@cunard.com, or Brian O'Connor, +1-661-753-1060,  boconnor@cunard.com,
both of Cunard Line; or Maria Andriano, +1-212-229-0119, 
andriano@redpointpr.com, or Cindy Adams, +1-212-229-0119, 
adams@redpointpr.com, both of Redpoint Marketing PR for Cunard Line

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