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Return to the Forbidden Planet
by Bob Carlton
The Mitre Theatre, Croydon, July 2012
The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno. August 2012
Directed and Choreographed by Helen Harman
Musical Director: Colin Warnock

Please use THIS LINK to view the Trinity photographs
Please use THIS LINK to view the internal Minack Review
Please use THIS LINK to view the Minack's own Photos
Please use THIS LINK to view all photos taken by us at The Minack (more to follow)
 

The Tempest in outer space

As both director and choreographer of sharp crisp dance numbers, Helen Harman pulled off a show which, happily, will be an ambassador for Croydon when it goes to Cornwall's Minack Theatre from August 20th to 24th.

Loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, the script borrows lines and famous quotes from many of his plays to tell the story of a space ship, caught in an asteroid storm which lands on an unfamiliar planet where dwells Prospero, his daughter Miranda and Propero's robot, Ariel.

Threaded with up-beat pop songs from the late 50s and the 60s the vocal ability of the cast is first class and will compete easily with Cornwall's seascape.

All the principles (principals - ed) get a musical number and the energy fuelled dancers and singers provide the backing. Paul Grace is strong of voice but woebegone as his love for Miranda is spurned. Nick Miller is authoritative and luckier as Captain Tempest. Beci Sageman is the charming and tuneful Miranda.

Powerfully voiced David Elder delivers a slightly enigmatic Prospero and Peter Davis an aptly gawky shy Ariel

Lorraine Price, reprising the role of Navigation Officer from the Mitre's 2001 production, relates the news, good or bad from the huge galaxy screen and Katy Davies as the rogue Science Officer delivers a powerful Go Now. Mike Lilley helps the plot along as Bosun Arras as does Julia Gibbs as the cut-glass Newscaster.

In charge of the skilled band, the musical director is Colin Warnock and Charles Marriott dreamed up some wonderful special video sequences. Colourful and galactic - wardrobe mistress Di Jones excelled and the set, complete with various screens, flashing lights and operation bays was designed by Paul Adams. Andy Roid - the moving skeletal robot was designed and operated by Andy Thompson.

So much talent, so much work and so much success - a truly wonderful show.

Theo Spring.                                       Croydon Advertiser                                       July 2012.


The Mitre Players - Return To The Forbidden Planet - Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

 

Review by Johanna Carr  -  The Cornishman - 23rd August 2012

 

THEATREGOERS were treated to a cosmic extravaganza of dancing and rock musiac that could be heard from nearly a mile away at the Minack this week.

 

The cliff-top theatre was packed for the sold-out Mitre Players performance of Shakespeare's long lost rock and roll masterpiece, Return To The Forbidden Planet.

 

Writer Bob Carlton won an Olivier award for this jukebox musical in 1989 and 1990 for this show, which is loosely based on The Tempest and the 1950s' science fiction film Forbidden Planet.

 

The spirited musical is packed with hits from the 1950s and 1960s but it was the Players' energy and enthusiasm that really captivated the audience.

 

The plot follows the crew of a spaceship on a routine survey flight under the command of the dashing but not-too-clever Captain Tempest (Nick Miller).

 

Tempest is joined by the delightfully nutty mad scientist Prospero (David Elder), his teenage daughter Miranda (Beci Sageman) and Ariel the robot (Peter Davis) on an intergalactic adventure.

 

Everything about this performance was polished and impressive from the live band, which didn't miss a beat, to the attention to detail on the costumes (all unique) and the spaceship interior set.

 

The final few songs had everyone rocking in their seats particularly when the company joined the band on home-made drums to the tune of Wipeout and the finale Great Balls Of Fire left the audience roaring their approval.

 

It's showing tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 2pm but tickets are sold out for the week.