Road Scholar : Home
Best of London Theatre on The Queen Mary 2

Program Number: 11996RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/26/2014 - 9/8/2014; 10/10/2015 - 10/22/2015; 5/16/2016 - 5/28/2016; 7/5/2016 - 7/17/2016; 9/7/2016 - 9/20/2016; 10/10/2016 - 10/22/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: United States/England
Price starting at: $4,799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises; Independent City Discoveries Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 34; 13 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Theatre and the performing arts take center stage on this enriching voyage from New York City to London aboard the magnificent Queen Mary 2. Immerse yourself in the history and practice of theatre with onboard theatre expert Giles Ramsay, who explores the development of drama from Greek tragedy to the modern musical. In London, experience the arts first-hand as you enjoy theatre productions ranging from the classic to the cutting edge and gain insight from leading theatre professionals.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 2 hours/2 miles per day on city streets and in galleries. Many theatres and historic buildings in London have no elevators and are not accessible.

Details of selected performances are sent four weeks prior to departure date.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

New York City, 1 night; aboard Queen Mary 2, 7 nights; London (England), 4 nights.

Days 1-2: Arrival New York City / embark Queen Mary 2:

Meet fellow Road Scholars during a welcome meeting and dinner. The next afternoon, board the elegant Queen Mary 2 as we set sail for London. Lodging: Downtown Manhattan hotel.

Days 3-8: At Sea:

Enjoy a wide variety of enriching ship-board activities, including the on-board planetarium, art classes, ballroom dancing and more. Theatre producer and director Giles Ramsay explores the art of theatre and the process of production from text into performance. Gain expert understanding into the historic roots of European theatre ranging from medieval drama, through Marlowe and Shakespeare, to Wilde, Coward, Pinter and Stoppard.

Days 9-13: Southampton (England) / disembark / coach via Winchester to London / departure:

Disembark in Southampton and travel by coach via Winchester to London. Tonight, enjoy a theatre performance, which may range from a major classic to a contemporary comedy. Morning brings an interactive political discussion with a top BBC journalist, then free time to experience London on your own. Attend another evening play ¬— perhaps a major musical in the West End or a leading show at London’s flagship National Theatre. Explore The Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum of art and design. Learn about rehearsing a play during an interactive workshop led by professional actors. Attend our third theatre performance this evening. The next day, visit The National Gallery and take afternoon tea at The Phoenix Artists Club, located in rehearsal rooms once occupied by Noel Coward and Laurence Olivier. We round off our trip with an in-depth discussion of shows we have seen with a leading London theatre critic, then enjoy our final theatre performance.

Queen Mary 2

At 1,132 feet long and 131 feet wide and cruising at 28.5 knots, the Queen Mary 2 can carry 2,592 passengers. Public areas linked by elevators include restaurants, bars, library, theater, casino, gym, pool and more. Dining in the Britannia Restaurant.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Giles Ramsay

Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre director and producer who specializes in creating new work with artists in developing countries. He is the Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists, a Fellow of St. Chad’s College, Durham University and Course Leader in Theatre at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He has devised and instructed on Road's Scholar programs since the early 1990's and has run theatre projects in countries ranging from Kosovo to Zimbabwe.
Meals and Lodgings
   East Side Marriott
  New York, New York, USA 1 night
   Aboard The Queen Mary II
  Queen Mary II, USA 8 nights
   Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel
  London, UK:England 4 nights
 East Side Marriott
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This luxury Manhattan hotel on the East Side is perfect for visiting the city's best attractions, restaurants & shopping. Conveniently located for Rockefeller Center, Central Park, 5th Avenue, Broadway theaters & top NYC attractions.
  Contact info: 525 Lexington Avenue at 49th St.
New York, NY 10017 USA
phone: 212-755-4000
  Room amenities: Each room and suite at this East Side Manhattan hotel features new luxurious bedding and bathrooms. Plug-in panels connect laptops, MP3 players, cameras and game consoles to 32" flat panel HDTV,and WiFi. Business amenities include work desk, speakerphone, voicemail, high-speed Internet, and WiFi.
  Facility amenities: All public areas non-smoking, Beauty shop nearby (referral at front desk), Cash machine/ATM, Coffee/tea in-room, Concierge Lounge Hours, Concierge desk, Evening turndown service, Foreign exchange, Gift/newsstand, Housekeeping service daily, Local restaurant dinner delivery, Newspaper delivered to room on request, Newspaper in lobby, Phone calls: toll-free, Room service 6:00 AM-11:00 PM, Safe deposit boxes, front desk, Valet dry-cleaning, Vending machines, Virtual Concierge Available
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD TBA. Complete the form in the preparatory materials and return to Adventures Afloat Road Scholar in Boston or email
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Aboard The Queen Mary II
Type: Cruise Ship
  Ship Information: Having made her debut in January of 2004, the stylish and grand 12-deck, transatlantic liner Queen Mary 2, built by Cunard and under British Registry, represents the pinnacle of maritime achievement. At 1,132' long and 131' wide (150,000 tons) and cruising at 28.5 knots she can carry 3,090 passengers (of whom a maximum of 44 are Participants). Group dining in the Britannia Restaurant.
  Contact info: Queen Mary
New York, NY xxx USA
phone: xxx--
  Room amenities: Bathrobes with matching slippers, a hairdryer, refrigerator, safe, data port, direct dial phone, an interactive TV, daily shipboard newspaper, nightly turndown service and 24-hour room service. 220V British 3-pin and 110V 2-pin sockets.
  Facility amenities: Public areas linked by elevators include restaurants, bars, library, lounges, theater, casino, spa club, gym, sun decks and pool. Canyon Ranch Spa Club.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located close to the West End.
  Contact info: 130 Tottenham Court Road
London.,  W1T 5AY UK:England
phone: +44 20 7388 4131
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. Direct dial telephone with personal phone numbers. Satellite TV, hairdryer, mini bar, in room safe, iron and trouser press, and tea and coffee making facilities. Complimentary wireless Internet access. US 110v sockets.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business centre, fitness room and complimentary wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check out time: 10:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Independent transfers to New York hotel. There is a welcome meeting with Giles Ramsay, Course Director, in the hotel at 6:00pm followed by dinner with 1 glass of wine at 7:00pm. You will be staying at East Side Marriott that night.
  End of Program:
The programme ends after breakfast in the hotel in London. Breakfast ends at 10:00am and check out is by 11:00am. You will be staying at Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. **PLEASE NOTE: Cunard requires that you register online in order to receive your E-ticket(s) and cruise documents. You should do this when you receive your final program materials about 5 weeks prior to departure, your booking number and cabin assignment will be included with these materials. Please go to to register. Click on Already Booked, then click on Voyage Personaliser on the left-hand side, scroll down a little and click on Visit Voyage Personaliser (in red font). That will open a new window where you can enter your first and last name and booking reference number to sign in. Once you have completed your online registration, you will be able to view and print all of your cruise documents. **You must print your own Queen Mary II Luggage Tags, they are required by the ship porters so your bags can make their way safely to your ship cabin.**
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Buses and Amtrak trains are available to New York City. Nearest underground station in London is Warren Street.
To Start of Program
  Location:  New York, New York
  Transportation to site: The first night of this programme is spent at the Eastside Marriott New York. No transfers to this site are provided by Road Scholar and so you will need to make your own arrangements on arrival. Taxis are generally available and reliable. Taxi from JFK is approximately USD 55. Or take public transport. Take AirTrain JFK Airport Light rail towards Jamaica Station. At Jamaica Station transfer to the E Subway towards World Trade Center for 7 stops to Lexington Av/53 St Walk south on Lexington Ave for four blocks (.3 mi). New York Marriott East Side is located at 525 Lexington Ave Should take 60-70 minutes and cost approx. USD 7.50
  From End of Program
  Location:  London
  Nearest airport:  Heathrow and Gatwick
  Transportation from site: Trains and underground available. Transportation will be provided to Heathrow at the end of the program for participants who are departing on group departure day. Complete the Participant Information Form on-line, or in the preparatory materials and return to Road Scholar in the UK.
Elevation Note: This program takes place at sea level.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival, Welcome
(Tuesday, August 26)
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals. Welcome meeting in the hotel at 6 p.m.
 Dinner: In the hotel at 7:00pm.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening to explore.
Accommodations: East Side Marriott
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Embark Queen Mary 2.
(Wednesday, August 27)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a free morning on your own.
 Lunch: You are free to enjoy lunch on your own. You may wish to take a late lunch onboard ship.
 Afternoon: Group transfer by coach to embarkation of Queen Mary 2 at about 2 p.m.
 Dinner: Onboard ship.
 Evening: Free to begin exploring the magnificent Queen Mary 2 and its grand array of activities and entertainment.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Multi-media presentation by Giles Ramsay.
(Thursday, August 28)
 Breakfast: Onboard ship.
 Morning: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities during each of the free mornings and evenings as you sail to London and your theatrical learning adventure. Experience the Cunard Insights guest lecture series, which explores historical and contemporary issues presented by speakers including explorers, academics, former ambassadors and politicians, historians and scientists, novelists, biographers and award-winning actors and film makers. If you are an avid reader, take advantage of the Book Club and literary discussions with librarians, or choose from a wide range of classes such as watercolors, computer lessons, wine tasting, ballroom dancing and more, or enjoy bridge and board games. On deck, games and more active entertainment are available. You can exercise in the fitness center, walk around the Promenade Deck, swim in one of the pools, play tennis, or take exercise classes such as yoga and Pilates. In the Royal Court Theatre, enjoy singers and dancers in stage shows. There are movies in the cinema, and the bars and lounges throughout the ship feature pianists, jazz bands and string quartets. Hear the Julliard School jazz series and take part in the Royal Night Theme Balls. Polish your acting skills with one-hour workshops with actors who spent three years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Or simply take Afternoon Tea and enjoy the Maritime Quest exhibition throughout the ship.
 Lunch: Onboard ship.
 Afternoon: To prepare for your theatre adventure in London, Giles Ramsay, a theatre producer and director based in London, presents a colorful and informative lecture: "What is Theatre and Why Do We Need It?" He will offer insight on a different aspect of London theatre each afternoon.
 Dinner: Onboard ship.
 Evening: Enjoy an array of shipboard activities.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Walking Tour of Halifax and Welcome Cocktail Party
(Friday, August 29)
 Breakfast: Onboard ship.
 Morning: Set off from the quayside by bus with your kilted guide for a short drive to the heart of Halifax and discover the downtown area the way it’s seen best - on foot. Take a leisurely walk through the beautiful Public Gardens, encompassing 17 acres of Victorian paths, lush flowerbeds and sparkling fountains. Founded in 1866, these are the oldest Victorian gardens in North America. Enjoy the bustle of Spring Garden Road, lined with boutiques and cafés and walk past elegant Georgian and Victorian arches, which help the city retain its historic charm. Stroll through the lovely Grand Parade Square and see the oldest Anglican church in Canada. Learn the history of Province House and City Hall, overlooked by the picture-perfect Town Clock, perched on Citadel Hill. At the end of your walking tour, you’ll have time to browse the quaint shops and heritage buildings of the Historic Properties, located on the Halifax waterfront. After your guided tour, you may wish to remain in the city and return to the ship at your leisure or walk with your guide back to the ship. This excursion will operate by bus and on foot. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended for this tour. Passengers are advised that the transfer may be by double-decker bus or coach.
 Lunch: Onboard.
 Afternoon: At leisure to enjoy Halifax or shipboard activities.
 Dinner: Onboard.
 Evening: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities, including many kinds of evening entertainment featuring dancing, music and more.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lecture by Giles Ramsay
(Saturday, August 30)
 Breakfast: Onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities. Consider taking a class such as watercolor painting or ballroom dancing, enjoying one of the ship's swimming pools, and more
 Lunch: Onboard.
 Afternoon: Giles Ramsay presents the multi-media lecture: "Medieval Drama Reformation and Christopher Marlowe.”
 Dinner: Onboard.
 Evening: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lecture by Giles Ramsay on Shakespeare.
(Sunday, August 31)
 Breakfast: Onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy an exceptional array of shipboard-enrichment activities.
 Lunch: Onboard.
 Afternoon: To continue your preparation for a fascinating theatre adventure in London, Giles Ramsay presents the lecture "Shakespeare's Life and Verse."
 Dinner: Onboard.
 Evening: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities. Check the QM2 schedule to see which night you can experience a Royal Night Theme Ball, donning your formal dancing attire and taking to the floor in a sea of glittering ball gowns and tuxedos accompanied by the sounds of a wonderful orchestra.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Lecture by Giles Ramsay on "3,000 Years of British Theatre"
(Monday, September 1)
 Breakfast: Onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities, perhaps exercising your mind playing bridge with new friends or trying out a board game, then exercising your body in the QM2's fitness center. Your activity choices are plentiful.
 Lunch: Onboard.
 Afternoon: Giles Ramsay presents the colorful and informative lecture: "3,000 Years of British Theatre."
 Dinner: Onboard.
 Evening: Relax on the deck enjoying the camaraderie of new friends. Or choose one of the many kinds of nightly entertainment found on this elegant ship. You will never find yourself without plenty of nightly options.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Insight on Theatre.
(Tuesday, September 2)
 Breakfast: Onboard.
 Morning: You may choose to enjoy a yoga or Pilates class with one of the QM2's expert fitness instructors, or improve your skills in a computer class or one of many other class offerings. Choose from the plentiful shipboard activities offered on this grand ship.
 Lunch: Onboard.
 Afternoon: Theater producer and director Giles Ramsay continues his expert insights into British theatre.
 Dinner: Onboard.
 Evening: Choose to relax taking in a movie in the ship's cinema, or take it up a notch at the G32 Night Club with a popular themed night from the 1960s, '70s or '80s. You have many options to experience all the QM2 has to offer.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Giles Ramsay lecture, "The 20th Century: Wilde, Coward, Pinter, Orton, Osborne."
(Wednesday, September 3)

Note: .

 Breakfast: Onboard.
 Morning: On your final day aboard the QM2, perhaps you will glean final bits of knowledge from a class you've been taking. Maybe you're in need of a rigorous walk around the Promenade Deck. Or perhaps you and new friends have been keeping track of your wins and losses playing bridge and are hoping to swing things in your favor. There are ample shipboard activities from which to choose.
 Lunch: Onboard
 Afternoon: Giles Ramsay continues his series of exceptional lectures with "The 20th Century: Wilde, Coward, Pinter, Orton, Osborne."
 Dinner: Onboard
 Evening: On your final evening aboard ship before making port in Southampton, you may want to have a quiet night spent with new friends. Or perhaps you'll toast the last of your nights at sea, marveling at all you've done and learned while crossing the Atlantic.
Accommodations: Aboard The Queen Mary II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Arrive England, Winchester Cathedral, Theatre Performance.
(Thursday, September 4)

Note: Walking and standing of up to one hour in Winchester Cathedral; some steps, stone floors.

 Breakfast: Onboard
 Morning: Disembark Southampton and transfer by coach to London via Winchester. Experience a field trip to the magnificent Winchester Cathedral, which is one of the largest cathedrals in England and is the longest Gothic cathedral in Europe.
 Lunch: At the Winchester Cathedral Refectory.
 Afternoon: Continue the transfer to London.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: King Charles III at the Wyndhams Theatre. 7:30pm. A future history play by Mike Bartlett The Queen is dead: after a lifetime of waiting, the prince ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule? Mike Bartlett’s controversial new play explores the people beneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family. The Almeida Theatre’s current production of King Charles III will bring its regal tale to the West End later this year, playing a limited season at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 2 September to 29 November. Mike Bartlett’s controversial play, which imagines a future in which Prince Charles has taken the throne, explores the unwritten rules of our democracy and the conscience of Britain’s royal family. Under the direction of the Almeida Theatre’s Artistic Director Rupert Goold, Tim Pigott-Smith will reprise his role as the title character alongside Richard Goulding, Nyasha Hatendi, Adam James, Margot Leicester, Tom Robertson, Nicholas Rowe, Tafline Steen and Lydia Wilson. King Charles III opened to critical acclaim at the Islington venue last month, receiving a shower of rave reviews. The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer, who awarded the show five stars, described it as “the most spectacular, gripping and wickedly entertaining piece of lèse-majesté that British theatre has ever seen.” 2 hours 45 minutes with an interval.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: A top national journalist speaks. Theatre performance.
(Friday, September 5)

Note: Most London theatres do not have elevators. Accessibility notes will be available when plays and venues are chosen.

 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a captivating discussion with one of England's top national journalists on the "State of the Nation." Discuss England's world role in the past, present and future.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon on your own in the great city of London to see and experience its top attractions, including the British Museum, Tate Modern, Madame Tussauds, the Tower of London, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde at the Harold OPinter Theatre. 7:30pm. Oscar Wilde's much loved and brilliantly witty masterpiece. Oscar Wilde's witty comedic farce exposing the class hypocrisies of Victorian society, receives another West End outing, with an all-star cast. The Importance of Being Earnest still sparkles thanks to its whip-smart script which remains relevant still to this day. This perpetually popular satirical play examines the hypocrisies of morality and good breeding amongst the Victorian chattering classes. It receives another revival in the West End, this time starring stage favourites Nigel Havers, Rosalind Ayres, Cheri Lunghi and Martin Jarvis. Two dandyish bachelors, Jack and Algernon, who have created new and vastly different identities for themselves in the hope of avoiding tedious social engagements, now find themselves trapped by their lies. Throw into the mix two well-to-do young ladies - Cecily Cardew and Gwendolyn Fairfax - both of whom the young men have set their sights upon, an imaginary errant brother called Ernest and these troublesome double identities result in all manner of trouble for the pair. The shenanigans began some time ago when the very eligible Hertfordshire bachelor, John Worthing, created a fictitious older brother named Ernest - an identity he used to hide behind when he escaped the country for weekends in London. His arrangement starts to go wrong however when he lets Algernon Moncrieff in on his plan, and Algernon decides that since Ernest doesn't actually exist he might as well use him to his advantage! The word 'Earnest' as used in the title is a play on words as it both relates to both Jack's fictional brother "Ernest" as well as the Victorian desire for 'earnest' and honest values - ironically, a quality that neither Jack or Algernon possess.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Victoria and Albert Museum. Theatre workshop. Theatre performance.
(Saturday, September 6)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: On a field trip, experience the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), new home to the theatre collection. Theatre and performance galleries are dedicated to the performing arts, displaying works of art, costumes, ephemera, video recordings, puppets, posters and photographs. The V&A's Theatre Collections hold the UK's national collection of material about live performance in the UK since Shakespeare's day, covering drama, dance, musical theatre, circus, music hall, rock and pop, and other forms of live entertainment. The collections were founded in the 1920s when a private collector, Gabrielle Enthoven, donated her extensive collection of theatrical designs, memorabilia, books and photographs to the Museum. She continued to add to her collection, and worked on it as a museum volunteer until her death in 1950. Since that period, the collection has continued to grow, and has provided a home for many other significant objects and archives. Between 1987 and 2007, some of this material was housed at the V&A's branch museum in Covent Garden, the Theatre Museum. New galleries devoted to the performing arts opened at the V&A in South Kensington in 2009.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own to savor local fare.
 Afternoon: Experience an interactive theatre production or directing workshop.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre. 7:30pm. Bursting into life on stage. 'I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all.' Promising young playwright Will Shakespeare is tormented by writer’s block until he finds his muse in the form of passionate noblewoman, Viola De Lesseps. Their forbidden love draws many others, including Queen Elizabeth, into the drama and inspires Will to write the greatest love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet. Based on the Oscar-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). The production is directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, the driving force behind the world-renowned theatre company, Cheek by Jowl. This sweeping romantic comedy will transport you back to Shakespeare's London, teeming with vibrant colours, characters, music and life. Oh, and there's a bit with a dog!
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Afternoon tea with a theatre critic. Theatre performance.
(Sunday, September 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Experience an enlightening field trip to an art gallery such as the National Gallery.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own to savor local fare.
 Afternoon: Enjoy afternoon tea with a theatre critic at the Phoenix Arts Club. Sandwiches and cream tea will be served at 3 p.m.
 Dinner: The enhanced afternoon tea will replace an early dinner.
 Evening: The Commitments at the Palace Theatre. Roddy Doyle's best-selling novel, is now live on stage for the very first time. Directed by Jamie Lloyd. 7:00pm. Featuring soul classics Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, RiverDeep, Mountain High, In The Midnight Hour, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Save Me, Mustang Sally, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Reach Out, Uptight, Knock On Wood, I Can't Turn You Loose AND MANY MORE. The show, which has been more than two years in the making, has been adapted from the novel by Booker prize winning author Doyle himself and is directed by award winning Jamie Lloyd (Macbeth starring James McAvoy). The Commitments is the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians and friends into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. The show follows the journey of two members of a frustrated synthesizer band - the opening scene we find them playing but being ignored in a shop window - who turn to Jimmy, the local music expert, for help. Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalising the new line up who he names The Commitments. The humour kicks in as the band get to know each other and their instruments, and proceed through early rehearsals for their first gig. Just as they improve and begin to get a name for themselves they combust. The backing singers are all getting off with the middle aged horn legend, the singer has entered Eurovision and the saxophone player has dangerous leaning towards a jazz career.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Monday, September 8)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Transfers to London Heathrow Airport for return flights.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A History of the Theatre

Author: Glynne Wickham

Description: A fully illustrated survey of 3000 years of theatrical history, including opera, ballet and spectacle.

A Sense of Direction

Author: William Ball

Description: William Ball's productions at in the 1960s and 1970s were considered landmark interpretations of classic theatre texts. "Tartuffe", "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Taming of the Shrew" all demonstrated a fineness of detail, a clarity of presentation, and perhaps most of all, a thunderingly imaginative theatricality which few directors can match. This book brilliantly details his approaches, and is particularly good on directors relations with actors.

Being an Actor

Author: Simon Callow

Description: Few actors are more eloquent, honest or entertaining about their life and their profession than Simon Callow. Being an Actor traces his stage journey from the letter he wrote to Laurence Olivier that led him to his first job, to his triumph as Mozart in the original production of Amadeus. This new edition continues to tell the story of his past two decades onstage. Callow discusses his occasionally ambivalent yet always passionate feelings about both film and theatre, conflicting sentiments partially resolved by his acclaimed return to the stage with his solo performances in The Importance of Being Oscar and The Mystery of Charles Dickens, seen in the West End.

Greek Theatre in Performance

Author: David Wiles

Description: In this fascinating and accessible book, David Wiles introduces ancient Greek theatre to students and enthusiasts interested in knowing how the plays were performed. Theatre was a ceremony bound up with fundamental activities in ancient Athenian life and Wiles explores those elements which created the theatre of the time. Actors rather than writers are the book's main concern and Wiles examines how the actor used the resources of story-telling, dance, mask, song and visual action to create a large-scale event that would shape the life of the citizen community. The book assumes no prior knowledge of the ancient world, and is written to answer the questions of those who want to know how the plays were performed, what they meant in their original social context, what they might mean in a modern performance and what can be learned from and achieved by performances of Greek plays today.

In Search of Shakespeare

Author: Michael Wood

Description: There can be few more appropriate writers and TV presenters to go In Search of Shakespeare than Michael Wood. Having already gone In Search of England and pursued the history of the Conquistadors in his recent acclaimed series, Wood has now taken on The Bard in the book to accompany his latest TV series. This is well-trodden ground, but Wood tells the story with relish and an historian's eye for detail, dismissing Bardolatry in favour of a "tale of one man's life, lived through a time of revolution--a time when not only England, but the larger world beyond, would go through momentous changes."

London - The Biography

Author: Peter Ackroyd

Description: Probably there is no one better placed than Ackroyd--the author of mammoth lives of Dickens and Blake, and novels such as Hawksmoor and Dan Leno and the Lime House Golem which set singular characters against the backdrop of a city constantly shifting in time--to write such a rich, sinewy account of "Infinite London". Ackroyd's London is no mere chronology. Its chapters take on such varied themes as drinking, sex, childhood, poverty, crime and punishment, sewage, food, pestilence and fire, immigration, maps, theatre and war. We learn that gin was "the demon of London for half a century", and that "it has been estimated that in the 1740s and 1750s there were 17,000 'gin-houses'." Fleet Street was an area known for its "violent delights" where "a 14-year-old boy, only 18 inches high, was to be seen in 1702 at a grocer's shop called the Eagle and Child by Shoe Lane." By the mid 19th century "London had become known as the greatest city on earth." By 1939 "one in five of the British population had become a Londoner."

Modern Drama in Theory and Practice

Author: J.C. Styan

Description: Volume 1: This volume begins with the naturalistic revolt in France against traditional styles of theatre. As realism becomes a European movement the account moves from Paris to the Meiningen company and Ibsen's work as producer and play-wright in Oslo, Chekhov's in Moscow, Shaw's in London, Synge's in Dublin. Among the producers are Antoine, Brahm, Grein, Granville-Baker, Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky. The early days of the Irish Dramatic Movement and the chief realistic directors and critics in the USA after Belasco are considered; the tradition is shown to persist in the work of Williams and Miller in the USA and Osborne and Bond in England. Volume 2: he theories of Wagner and Nietzsche provide the basic principles for this volume, disseminated by the work of Appia and Craig, and affecting the later plays of Ibsen, Maeterlinck, and Lugné-Poe's Théatre de Le'Oeuvre. Jarry is seen as the precursor of surrealism; later symbolist elements are found in the plays of Claudel, Giraudoux, Yeats, Eliot, Lorca and Pirandello. Artaud's theatre of cruelty is related to the work of Peter Brook. The theatre of the absurd is illustrated in Sartre, Beckett, Pinter and Ionesco. Recent avant-garde theatre in America and Britain also reveals elements of symbolism.

Shakespeare and Co.

Author: Stanley Wells

Description: "With the passing of the years Shakespeare has too often been isolated from his fellows. He is the greatest of them, but he would not have been what he is without them." -- so says Stanley Wells at the conclusion of what is a wonderfully readable look at the theatrical scene of Shakespeare's day. Concentrating on the Bard's contemporaries rather than the man himself (more than adequately covered elsewhere), Shakespeare & Co is accessible rather than academic (though by no means lightweight), and an excellent introduction to those figures who hover on the edges of Shakespeare's biography, all too undeservingly like like bit-players in somebody else's drama. Individual chapters cover the theatrical scene (how plays were put together and presented, how they fit into the political mood of the time, and so on), and a brief look at some of the well-known actors of the day, before we get to the playwrights: Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher & Francis Beaumont and John Webster.

The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski

Author: Edward Braun

Description: Beginning with the triple impulses of Naturalism, symbolism and the grotesque, the bulk of the book concentrates on the most famous directors of this century - Stanislavski, Reinhardt, Graig, Meyerhold, Piscator, Brecht, Artuaud and Grotowski. Braun's guide is more practical than theoretical, delineating how each director changed the tradition that came before him.

The Life of the Drama

Author: Eric Bentley

Description: Discusses the various aspects of a drama, from the plot and character to dialogue, thought and enactment. In addition, Eric Bentley describes different types of plays such as melodrama, farce, tragedy, comedy and tragi-comedy

The Medieval Theatre

Author: Glynne Wickham

Description: Glynne Wickham's important history of the development of dramatic art in Christian Europe. Professor Wickham surveys the foundations on which this dramatic art was built: the architecture, costumes and ceremonial of the imperial court at Byzantium, the liturgies of countires in the Eastern and Western Empires and the triumph of the Roman rite and the Romanesque style in Western art. Within this context Professor Wickham describes three major influences upon the drama: religion, recreation and commerce.

The State of the Nation

Author: Michael Billington

Description: Michael Billington's new book looks at post-war Britain from a theatrical perspective. It examines the constant interplay between theatre and society from the resurgent optimism of the Attlee years to the satire boom of the Sixties and the growth of political theatre under Tony Blair in the post-Iraq period. Written by Britain's longest-serving theatre critic, the book also offers a passionate defence of the dramatist as the medium's key creative figure. Controversial, witty and informed, State of the Nation offers a fresh and challenging look at the vast upheavals that have taken place in Britain and its theatre in the course of sixty turbulent years.

The Year of the King

Author: Anthony Sher

Description: "'One of the finest books I have ever read on the process of acting' Time Out; 'This is a most wonderfully authentic account of the experience of creating a performance' Sunday Times; 'A brilliant compulsive account' Michael Billington, Guardian

Will In the World

Author: Stephen Greenblatt

Description: With something of the vigour of the Bard’s writing, Greenblatt takes us through the bawdy, teeming Bankside district (centuries before it became a tourist destination), and the Machiavellian, dangerous world of the court--in fact, all the splendour and misery of the Elizabethan age--and at the centre of it all, its greatest artist.

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