Return to the Forbidden Planet

Date 16th October 2019
Society Carpet Traders Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster
Type of Production Musical
Director Doug Forrester
Musical Director Russell Painter
Choreographers Wendy Richards & Lucy-Charlotte Webb


Author: Bruce Wyatt

Return to the Forbidden Planet is a Jukebox musical by playwright Bob Carlton based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet.

The background plot follows the crew of a routine survey flight under the command of Captain Tempest. After take-off, Captain Tempest converses with the ship’s new Science officer, who is a woman, and they argue about the importance of men and women on earth. During their argument, the ship gets caught in a meteor shower, is drawn to the planet D’illyria where Dr Prospero has been marooned.   Before the ship can escape, relationships are explored and all eventually ends safely.

The link albeit non-exclusive with The Tempest makes for a challenging task with much of the dialogue Shakespeare esque, but for non WS followers more light and shade is provided via a large number of musical numbers from the late 1950s and 1960s.

CTMTC provided some confident principals, not least Scott Denton as Captain Tempest with a strong voice in for example ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Young Girl’ and ‘Born to be Wild’. Scott was well supported by John Aubrey as Bosun and I thought Chris Paine as Dr Prospero tackled the dialogue well and his number ‘Monster Mash’ was particularly strong. But possibly strongest of all were Ryan Donnell as Cookie who sang with strength and tone, and spoke with great clarity throughout, as well as Zoe Darks as the robot Ariel, who had seriously mastered roller blading in every direction with great  control.

The principal line up was completed by; Aoife McDermott as Miranda who sang ‘Teenager in Love’, ‘Robot Man’ and ‘Mr Spaceman’ well, so to Helen White as Science Officer who sang several numbers including ‘Gloria’ and ‘Go Now’ well, with Kim Underwood as the Navigation Officer and John Watkins as the Newscaster, Tom Farley (Polarity Reversal Drill Chief) and Lucy- Charlotte Webb (Navigation Officer 2nd Class) in support. Thank goodness the audience practised the Reverse Polarity Drill at the beginning of the performance!

The set was suitably Sci-fi with some very good projections on to a large screen and an interesting lighting plot, both to great effect. The costumes were suitable and the chorus and dancers showed great enthusiasm, backed by a supportive band.

Thank you again for the very warm welcome and congratulations to CTMTC on completing 75 years of entertainment.