Cunard has unveiled a unique partnership with highly regarded theatre producer David Pugh, known for his award-winning productions. Pugh will be bringing his theatre magic to the company’s newest ship, Queen Anne.

The esteemed West End and Broadway producer will join forces with the cruise line’s creative team to introduce an iconic stage show during the maiden season of Queen Anne. The show is unique because it has never been performed at sea. David Pugh’s success stretches worldwide, with numerous accolades from significant theatre awards globally. His latest hit, the sell-out Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell, starred Sheridan Smith.

Initiating this unique partnership, a specially adapted version of Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, directed by Emma Rice, will have its premiere during Queen Anne’s inaugural voyage. It will be staged in the ship’s Royal Court Theatre. The production has been widely acclaimed, having been successful on tour, in the West End and on Broadway.

The Royal Court Theatre on Queen Anne promises to elevate live performances to an unrivalled level of sophistication, reminiscent of the grand, art deco-styled concert halls. With crystal chandeliers, optimised sightlines, and plush seating, the theatre is committed to putting the art of storytelling in the spotlight.

In response to this collaboration, David Pugh said: “Being able to feature ‘Brief Encounter,’ one of my favourite West End productions, on Queen Anne is a matter of immense honour. I am delighted to be part of this venture and look forward to sharing the magic of live performance on the ocean.”

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, commented: “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.”

During her inaugural season, Queen Anne will sail from Southampton, making her way through the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, and Norwegian Fjords. In total, the ship will visit over 60 unique locations spread across 16 countries.