Cunard teams up with acclaimed theatre producer David Pugh to bring West End Theatre to Queen Anne

16th November 2023

Cunard is raising the curtain on an exclusive collaboration that will see acclaimed theatre producer David Pugh bring award-winning shows to new ship Queen Anne. The renowned West End and Broadway producer will work with the luxury cruise line’s creative team to launch two iconic stage shows during Queen Anne’s maiden season. Neither production has ever graced an ocean stage.

David Pugh is one of the most successful theatre producers on both sides of the Atlantic, winning every major theatre award across the globe, with his most recent success the sell-out Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell and starring Sheridan Smith.

The collaboration will kick off with a uniquely adapted production of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, directed by Emma Rice, which will debut on Queen Anne’s maiden voyage in the Royal Court Theatre.

Brief Encounter is one of the most haunting love stories ever created, with Emma Rice’s multi award-winning production triumphing in the West End, touring the globe and opening to dazzling reviews on Broadway.

Queen Anne’s Royal Court Theatre will usher in a glamourous new act of live performance, echoing the elegance and grandeur of great art deco concert halls. With cascading chandeliers that frame the action to perfect sightlines and velvety seats, this incredible venue really will put storytelling at centre stage.

Award-winning producer David Pugh said: “I am delighted that Cunard’s new ship Queen Anne will play host to Brief Encounter, which is one of my favourite West End productions that I have ever produced. It is an immense privilege to be involved with this project and I am so excited to bring the joy of live performance to the high seas, whether it be a classic title or modern marvel.”

Throughout her maiden season, Queen Anne will sail from Southampton on itineraries to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords, visiting over 60 unique destinations in 16 countries – taking in several of Europe’s most enchanting ancient cities.

She will set sail on 3 May for her seven-night maiden voyage to La Coruna and Lisbon. She will then depart for a 14-night voyage in the Canary Islands before travelling around the British Isles, visiting Scotland and Ireland, as well as Cunard’s founding home port and spiritual home, Liverpool.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: “This hugely exciting collaboration is a real celebration for theatre-lovers and the stage is almost set for guests to enjoy some of the most remarkable live performances on board our newest ship Queen Anne. Whether it’s the bright lights of Broadway or the buzz of the West End, the incredible David Pugh, together with Emma Rice, will deliver the very best that theatre has to offer.”