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Meet the team: Daniel Mallinder


Our Dance Captain shares his secrets to staging a spectacular show

Dance Captain, Daniel Mallinder

I get to travel around the world while doing my dream job - says Daniel

How long have you worked for P&O Cruises?

I first started working on Oriana in January 2008. Since then, I've worked across a number of the fleet's ships, including Aurora, Azura and Ventura. This year, I returned to my favourite: Azura.


What does your job involve?

I look after all of the Headliners Theatre Company shows on Azura, which means making sure that every show we perform is the best it can be. It's my responsibility to manage the 14 members of the theatre company, to make sure they are hitting all the right notes and performing the choreography exactly as it was created and taught by the Headliners Creative Team onshore.


What do you enjoy most about your role?

I've always wanted to be a performer and, by working with P&O Cruises, I actually get to do my dream job while travelling around the world. It's also very gratifying to oversee the progression of the show from the initial onshore rehearsals right through to the spectacular performances on the cruise ships. Headliners have such a diverse repertoire of shows that it's impossible to get bored. You're doing something different every night.


What are the main challenges of your job?

The biggest challenge is that we don't have any understudies on board, so if a cast member becomes ill or injured the show must go on! As Dance Captain, it falls to me to either rejig the choreography or teach another cast member the relevant dance moves and vocals. I can never know what will happen day-to-day, but it's always exciting.


How often do you rehearse the shows?

We always do a full run-through of the show the day before we perform it to make sure all of the lights and sound equipment are working. This is a great opportunity for me to sit in the auditorium and take notes on everything from the choreography, vocals and sound to the light and automation. Afterwards, I give everyone tips for improvement.


What has been your favourite destination so far?

This is the hardest question – there are so many wonderful ports to choose from! Cruising around the Caribbean is always a joy, but my real favourites are the Greek islands. I love the lifestyle and the food. Give me a plate of tzatziki and a doughy chunk of bread any day. My grandfather was Greek, so I have a lot of fond memories of visiting the area. But I still have a lot of travelling to do, so I'm sure there'll be plenty more to tick off the bucket list.


How would you spend an evening on board?

My perfect evening would involve going for dinner at Sindu before heading over to the theatre to watch a spectacular show, naturally.

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