Return to the Forbidden Planet

Date 8th March 2012
Society Alloa Musical Players
Venue Elizabeth Donald
Type of Production Musical?
Director Lindsey Spowage
Musical Director Rona Topaz


Author: Elizabeth Donald

Choreographer: Antony Carter

The Return to the Forbidden Planet is a difficult show to do with its mix of 50s/60s music, occasional Shakespearian language and a plot based on The Tempest. However this production was well thought through, from the layout of the audience as inside an aircraft, including its emergency drills, to a futuristic star ship set with a very useful moving chair and two video screens showing the meteor shower and the narrator, the Right Honourable George Reid. A band placed at the back of the stage meant the cast could easily reach their audience. And they did. From the outset, Alison Wright gave a powerful performance revelling in her role as Gloria. She was matched by Lesley Kettles as Miranda whose confident singing and dancing ably fulfilled the role. Not to be outdone, Grant Robertson as Ariel was a memorable robot, maintaining the automated delivery throughout, also winning the audience over with his humorous responses. Steven Ritchie, as a convincing Captain Tempest, gave the part a deprecating touch of humour especially in ‘The Young Ones’ while Alan Musgrave as Doctor Prospero was dramatic and eerie, assisted by his head make-up. Not to be outdone, a Jamie Oliver type Cookie engagingly played by John McErlane, a Liverpudlian-Cilla type Navigation Officer enthusiastically tackled by Roseanne Ritchie and likeable good guy Stuart Bailey as Bosun completed an effective principal line up. The chorus did their part too with slick movement and understated but effective backing not to mention the scary beasts at the end of Act 1. A thoroughly entertaining evening.