That’s Entertainment, Peter !

//That’s Entertainment, Peter !

1shanksconducts.jpgHere’s Cunard President Peter Shanks waving the big stick – actually, he is taking part in a Last Night of the Proms on board Queen Mary 2 during his recent crossing from New York.
He also joined a 60-strong choir made up of passengers on the liner for part of the performance, and – contrary to the delight shown on his face in this picture – says he might not forgive conductor Anthony Inglis for passing the baton to him and to Commodore Bernard Warner, who also took part in the show.
“The Royal Court Theatre was packed for the two shows,” says Peter. “The orchestra played some wonderful pieces including ‘The Dambuster March’ and Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’. As a choir we sang quite a tricky Handel piece and just about got away with it.
“Then for the fun – Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. The audience loved it – flags everywhere – and three encores.”
According to his report at, Peter had a fascinating time during the crossing, talking to passengers during his morning walks around the Promenade Deck, and during dinner at the Captain’s Table.
“One morning I was having breakfast when an American guest came up to speak to me. He said he had always wanted to meet somebody senior from Cunard to thank them. He explained that his father had travelled to the 2nd World War in Europe on Queen Mary in 1941. More importantly, after the war, Queen Elizabeth took him safely home back across the Atlantic.
“He was on this voyage for that reason and to experience the crossing on Queen Mary 2 as his father had on Queen Mary. It is very humbling to hear such stories but at the same time very uplifting. At Cunard we often talk about our heritage and how special it is – well now I was really starting to understand just how special a crossing really is,” added Peter.
Back in the UK, he has announced the formation of a 21-strong theatre company for Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, which will be launched in October.
The troupe will be performing adaptations of plays by Shakespeare and Neil Simon, and will also present entertainment shows based on TV quiz programmes like QI and Have I Got News For You.
“Because we have British and American passengers predominantly, we had to choose content that would work well both sides of the Atlantic and Neil Simon and Shakespeare both fit the bill.
“Our research suggests that 50 minutes is about right for an evening show on board so Twelfth Night, for example, has been adapted to fit that time period.”
I’d love to see them do The Sunshine Boys or The Odd Couple – and they would not need a cast of 21 for either of those plays.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:27+00:00 16 June 2010|Cruise Entertainment|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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