The bright lights of Broadway. The buzz of the West End stage. There’s nothing quite so exciting as watching a live performance play out in front of your eyes. As we look ahead to Queen Anne’s maiden voyage in May 2024, it brings us the greatest pleasure to reveal that renowned multi-award-winning West End and Broadway theatre producer, David Pugh, will be collaborating with Cunard to deliver these same calibre shows at sea. 

Cunard has worked with David to assemble a creative team, that will bring Emma Rice’s uniquely adapted production of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter to life in Queen Anne’s Royal Court Theatre.

One of the most haunting love stories ever created, Emma Rice’s multi award-winning production has triumphed in the West End, toured the globe, and opened to dazzling reviews on Broadway. 

A look at Queen Anne’s Royal Court Theatre

Echoing the elegance and grandeur of great art deco concert halls, Queen Anne’s Royal Court Theatre ushers in a glamourous new act of live performance. One that puts storytelling back at centre-stage. Even the approach inspires anticipation. Ushering you along a moodily lit corridor, adorned by life-size portraits that spring unexpectedly into motion with clever lenticular illusion. A tantalising glimpse of what lies in wait just a few feet away…

Upon entering the theatre, your eye is drawn immediately to the stage, framed on both sides by cascading chandeliers. You quickly take your seat. Velvety soft, and with a perfect sightline to the stage. Within minutes, a waiter appears to take your drinks order. Will it be a perfect serve gin and tonic perhaps or a sparkling glass of Laurent Perrier champagne?

As the live orchestra strikes up, the house lights dim, and the velvet curtain lifts. Applause breaks out as the show gets underway. A set rises into view, just as the digital background sets its scene, the final layer in the symphony of sound, light, and movement playing out all around you. Award-winning theatre – specially adapted for the ocean stage. Captivating headline performers. Acclaimed Insights speakers. Feature-length films. Be part of the story at Queen Anne’s Royal Court Theatre.

David Pugh is one of the most successful theatre producers on both sides of the Atlantic, winning every major world theatre award. David’s award-winning productions include Hamish McColl and Sean Foley’s The Play What I Wrote and most recently the sell-out Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell and starring Sheridan Smith.  

David is delighted that Queen Anne will play host to one of his favourite West End productions that he has ever produced, Brief Encounter. David commissioned and produced Kneehigh Theatre’s production of the show, which played for nearly a year in an old cinema on the Haymarket in London and toured the UK, winning the UK Theatre Award. His production then played at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York, where it received a rave review from The New York Times, and then transferred to Broadway.  

Emma Rice is an internationally respected theatre-maker and director, and currently the proud Artistic Director of her company Wise Children. For Wise Children Emma has adapted and directed the productions Wuthering Heights, Bagdad Cafe, Angela Carter’s Wise Children, Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and Romantics Anonymous. Whilst in 2019 she received the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre award at the UK Theatre Awards.   

Emma has also worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director, creating numerous critically acclaimed productions, including Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh).  

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