The play’s the thing for Alison

//The play’s the thing for Alison

ali_julie.jpgThey’re a funny lot, cruise directors. Faced with a constantly-changing roster of passengers, they must maintain a smiling face while passing on the same information every voyage. They have to keep their guests entertained and informed, all the while watching over an unruly bunch of entertainers and guest speakers.
Some can perform the role with consummate ease. Some get too full of their own importance; others collapse under the burden.
For three years, Alison Lewin (above left) has been a constant saviour on Voyages to Antiquity’s Aegean Odyssey around the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and last winter during the ship’s sometimes uncomfortable voyages in the Far East.
Her official title was Cruise Coordinator, but she was, in effect, the cruise director; having been parachuted in to put activities onto an even keel after the ship’s shaky start, she went from strength to strength over the next three years, gaining the confidence and affection of passengers and fellow crew.
On rare occasions, instead of merely introducing visiting speakers and guest performers, she would take to the stage herself, drawing on her previous experience as an actress.
Now the lure of the greasepaint has proved too strong and she is taking a sabbatical from the sea. Today, she returns to the stage, this time at the Leicester Square Theatre in London.
Henna.jpgAli is performing in a short run of Henna Night, a two-hander written by Amy Rosenthal, daughter of Jack Rosenthal and Maureen Lipman, in which she first toured the UK in 2007.
On stage with her is Julie Peasgood (above right), who has appeared on TV in Brookside, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. She has recently branched out into a travel writing career and has become a contributing editor at Cruise International.
Ali believes fate played a huge hand in bringing it all about. Returning to Aegean Odyssey last year after a break following the death of her mother, and already determined to produce the play, she found that Maureen Lipman was travelling on the ship. “It felt like a sign that I was moving in the right direction,” she said.
Then she discovered that Julie – who had earlier been on the ship to film for the Travel Channel – was returning for the cruise to Myanmar, which I also joined last December.
“All I had to do was convince her to take time out of her TV career to be in a little play with an unknown actress,” said Ali. “Remarkably, she agreed.”
Henna Night runs for a short season of matinee performances at the Leicester Square Theatre from today until June 9. Tickets are available online from the box office.
Break a leg, Ali and Julie.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:32+00:00 28 May 2013|Cruise News|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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