6 of the best… theatre shows

Viaggio

Whether your clients are shakespeare aficionados, magic fans or thrill at the thought of musical theatre, there’s a cruise to suit

1. Festivals without the stress

Rejoice for new concept Floating Festivals, created to give that weekend party vibe at sea – with no mud in sight. The brainchild of agent Jonathan Blackburn, who’s collaborating with Royal Caribbean and live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor, two inaugural voyages will set sail in 2018. The first is Stages, a musical theatre cruise featuring Michael Ball, Beverley Knight, Collabro and others. Then there’s Throwback, an 80s extravaganza with Jason Donovan, The Human League and OMD. Both festivals take place aboard Navigator of the Seas (left), with Throwback departing on 12 October for three nights via Zeebrugge for Bruges, then Stages leaving on 15 October for a four-night round trip via Amsterdam. There’s even a red carpet entrance as passengers board! Book it: floatingfestivals.co.uk; 0333 271 4506

2. Join the sea circus!

From humble beginnings as a street performance troupe, Cirque du Soleil is now an awe-inspiring and world-renowned extravaganza, thrilling audiences – including, since 2017, those on MSC Meraviglia. Twice every night, six nights a week, exclusively on the Meraviglia, guests can choose from two different shows as part of the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea experience: Viaggio, a test of the imagination, and Sonor, which incorporates a dining experience. Those booking the Show & Cocktail experience will get tempting treats and a cocktail half an hour before the show, which takes place in the custom-built Carousel Lounge, designed to meet the needs of the mesmerising acrobatics, storytelling, contortions and costumes of Cirque du Soleil. Book it: msccruises.co.uk; 0203 426 3010

3. Magic tricks to mesmerise

Guests sailing with Crystal Cruises should prepare to question everything they see, as magicians from Hollywood’s renowned private magicians’ club, the Magic Castle, board the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity to entertain and mystify. Thanks to an exclusive arrangement orchestrated by Master Magician Rich Bloch, they’ll leave the cruise astounded – and possibly able to wow their friends and family, too, as there will also be complimentary classes for adults to develop their own magic acts, educational enrichment on subjects like Houdini, and children’s shows on select summer and holiday sailings. There are just 25 places in each show, for an intimate and unforgettable experience. Book it: crystalcruises.co.uk; 0207 399 7601

4. Beauty and the Beast

It’s been a hit on the big screen – twice – and now Beauty and The Beast is coming to the stage on board the Disney Dream. With a debut voyage on 6 November, the Dream will depart Port Canaveral, Florida, visiting Nassau and Disney Castaway Cay. When the sun goes down, the curtain comes up on a ‘tale as old as time’ – re-imagined for the stage by top Broadway artist Sara Wordsworth and including two new musical numbers written for the recent film by Tim Rice and Alan Menken. Much-loved characters Mrs Potts, Cogsworth and Lumiere will be brought to life thanks to innovative puppetry and stunning visual effects, all in a huge 1,340-seat theatre. It’s truly going to be a whole new way to experience the classic story of Belle and her books. Book it: disneyholidays.co.uk; 0800 169 0742

5. Toe-tapping fun

Norwegian Cruise Line is well known for its high quality on-board entertainment, from duelling pianos to the headbanger hit Rock of Ages. From June 2018, the shiny new Norwegian Bliss will sail to Alaska and the Caribbean and the headline show will be Jersey Boys which is sure to be a real highlight for those sailing on her. With songs including Big Girls don’t Cry and Oh What a Night, the musical charts the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and is one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. Norwegian is also developing a new, completely original musical theatre show – a Cuban-inspired musical. For even more song and dance, the ship offers Prohibition – The Musical, and a comedy and nightclub space, Alibi. Book it: ncl.com; 0333 241 2319

6. Cunard and The Bard

Shakespeare fans will likely know that a dedication to the poet’s plays can often leave you sitting for two or more hours – or even standing at the world-famous Globe on London’s South Bank. But passengers on Cunard’s iconic ship Queen Mary II can indulge their passion for plays inspired by Shakespeare’s work as they sail the Atlantic – and each performance is no more than an hour. The fabulous experience has been running on the ship since 2003, in partnership with RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The RADA graduate company presents specially-edited versions of renowned plays and adaptations of great literary classics on Transatlantic Cruises. This season there will be two main productions: The Importance of Being Earnest, an abridged version of the Oscar Wilde classic comedy, and Bard on Board 2 which features many well-known death scenes! Book it: cunard.co.uk; 0344 338 8650

 

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