Dancers set for cruise liner performances

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High-flying dancers and vocalists on the world’s leading cruise liners are rehearsing in Scarborough.

Nick Thomas, whose entertainment empire Qdos is now recognized as one of the biggest in Britain, is using The Street community Centre to rehearse teams of leading dancers and singers who entertain thousands of people on the luxury ships throughout the world.

He has brought in the country’s leading choreographers, musical arrangers and directors to create lavish production shows for Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2, as well as the prestigious Royal Caribbean Celebrity Cruises liners, Infinity, Constellation, Millennium and Constellation.

Nick has become the UK’s leading producer of top-line production shows for prestigious cruise ships, which marks a diversification from his traditional summer seaside shows, which, he says have seen a decline nationally in recent years.

“This part of the entertainment industry is a complete change of direction for me after producing summer shows in British seaside towns for 25 years,” said Nick, who has some 112 dancers and vocalists taking part in the cruise line shows.

“We are delighted to be using The Street’s facilities - they are excellent for our purposes and it is providing good income for the building itself.”

Creative director Alan Harding, and choreographer Sharon Harding who now live in Scarborough, are using their wealth of experience from their high profile television and stage careers to produce spectacular musical shows for the cruises.

Musical director Rick Coates, is responsible for creating the musical scores and vocals for the 25 different shows on board the seven ships.

“Some of the dancers are theatre school trained, others have trained locally and have been in professional theatre shows,” said Nick, who himself found television success as a teenager when he won ITV’s “New Faces” series with his Tommer Puppets, which still adorn his Qdos Entertainment headquarter offices.

Nick, who lives at Scalby, runs Qdos from its Queen Margaret’s Road base in Scarborough, and offices in Covent Garden London. The company employs over 1,000 staff.

It is the world’s biggest pantomime producer, with 24 being staged throughout Britain this year.

Panto is incredibly popular - it has consistently been great family entertainment and it seems to be part of so many people’s Christmas holiday to go to a show.

About 1.5m people will see our pantomimes this year, generating a box office income of £25m