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RSC and Cunard take Shakespeare to the seas

British luxury cruise line Cunard has signed a deal with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to bring the works of William Shakespeare to the seas, with performances on board the company’s flagship cruise liner, Queen Mary 2.

The renowned theatre company has produced a one-hour compilation piece, called Boundless as the Sea, which is a blend of iconic Shakespeare love scenes. Guests on a transatlantic crossing will also be treated to a shortened version of musical Miss Littlewood.

Performances will take place in the liner’s purpose-built theatre.

Cast members will also lead workshops and perform their favourite sonnets and speeches as part of more intimate and informal events.

The three-year partnership begins on May 29 and will run until August 12. There will be a short break before running again between September 15 and November 13, with future dates to be announced.

Queen Mary 2 will also host a touring exhibition as part of the deal called ‘Digital Diorama: An Augmented Journey Through Shakespeare’s Stratford’. Passengers will be able to experience scenes from Shakespeare’s most famous plays come to life.

The ship’s on board cinema will also screen some of the RSC’s productions including Hamlet, Henry V and As You Like It.

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.”

Lee Powell, vice president, brand and product at Cunard, added: “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 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.”

Image: Topher McGrillis (c) RSC