A host of the West End’s biggest names are climbing aboard the UK’s first specialist musical theatre festival at sea.
Launching on a round trip from Southampton on 15 October next year, the four-night Floating Festival Stages on board the Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas will feature some of musical theatre’s most popular stars.
Double Olivier Award winner and recording artist Michael Ball heads a glittering line-up that will include popular musical theatre group Collabro, soul singer turned stage star Beverley Knight (The Bodyguard, Cats) and Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera leading man John Owen-Jones.
Also taking to the high seas will be two West End favourites who first found fame on TV talent searches, Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wicked) and Sophie Evans (The Wizard of Oz, Wicked) and direct from Broadway, gifted impressionist Christina Bianco.
Produced by Floating Festivals with assistance from Royal Caribbeanm the Stages cruise will also feature a unique performance of the Olivier Award-winning West End production Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.
Commenting on his new venture, Floating Festivals’ Jonathan Blackburn, said: “If you truly love musical theatre this exhilarating cruise adventure offers you an unforgettable four-night ‘Voyage with The Stars’.
“We have lined up some of the most beloved personalities from the West End and Broadway for what promises to be a true musical theatre extravaganza at sea.
“Not only will there be showstopping performances and shows, passengers will also get the opportunity to meet and hear from the people behind some of the most celebrated musical theatre shows in the world.
“This is not just a cruise with a theme, this is a musical festival. The moment the passenger enters the cruise terminal at Southampton and walks down the Red Carpet, they will begin to rejoice in an experience of which they will be an important part of for the duration of their cruise.
“We want our passengers to experience Stages in the most magnificent way. We have a fantastic array of stars and performers as well as many special features which will really make Stages a truly unforgettable experience.”
With leading artists and attractions sourced by live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor, the plan is to turn the cruise ship into a full musical theatre themed floating resort.
Promising a mixture of full live shows and performances, the cruise – which will include a full day ashore in Amsterdam – will include workshops with the stars and live Q&A events.