Entertainment runs the gamut from plays featuring graduates of Britain's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) to some pretty run-of-the-mill song-and-dance revues. The former perform generally from April to November as part of a partnership between Cunard and the school, with RADA graduates and students also giving a variety of readings and workshops, including acting classes. Besides theater, a wide variety of music is heard throughout the ships' many lounges, from string quartets and harpists to jazz groups and high-toned dance music in the gorgeous Queen's Ballroom (with gentleman hosts on hand to partner with single ladies). Both ships have a disco and a casino, which are more Monte Carlo than Vegas, with refined art and furnishings rather than the usual clangor of an arcade. Aboard the QV, there's an unusual show lounge arrangement where the best box seats can be reserved in advance for special performances and are first-come, first-seated for other shows.
Whereas most ships have one theater, QM2's lecture program is so busy that there are two. As the secondary theater, Illuminations is smaller than the Royal Court Theatre, but is probably the most used room on the ship. It serves triple duty as a lecture hall, a movie theater, and also the world's only oceangoing planetarium that shows 3-D films, some of them created in conjunction with noted institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
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