It’s not often that the brief for creating a new production contains the phrase “not everyone has to like it”.
But that was the case with P&O’s latest onboard show Twice Upon A Time. Graeme Gillies from Grayboy Entertainment told choreographer Dale Pope that he wanted something that would get the audience talking. He didn’t want them to leave the theatre thinking “that was nice”.

It’s a brave move for P&O. The show is certainly unlike anything we’ve seen on a cruise ship before. It brings to mind a Sydney Festival performance. No words are spoken during the show and the story is told through contemporary dance and music.

Ms Pope says she worked with the dancers to create an emotive journey that is expressed through movement and doesn’t need dialogue.

There is no set to speak of either. Instead, P&O’s new million dollar LCD screens are used to project interactive images. Dancers wear elaborate The Matrix-meets-Avatar costumes with the most detailed hair and makeup the line has ever used.

Entertainment director Brett Annable said P&O wanted to do something different and push the boundaries of what people expect to see on a cruise. The line wanted to totally change what it normally does and admits it was a risk to take a show like this on the seas.

But if the goal is to get passengers talking, then we think they’ve certainly achieved that. We know that research results gave the line a clear message about the standard of entertainment aboard their ships. Many, young women in particular, felt there was too much old fashioned burlesque and not enough edgy, contemporary dance.

We think P&O has move than made for it with this show.

Twice Upon A Time will be perfumed on select sailings of Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria.