Return To The Forbidden Planet
9th April 2011
Love is in the air, well on the spacecraft The Albatross anyway!
Captain Tempest and his crew are on a routine survey flight, when the ship is mysteriously drawn to the planet D'Illyria where mad scientist and ex Albatross crew member Doctor Prospero and his lovely daughter Miranda are marooned.
Will they survive their quest? Will they unravel the mysteries of quantum physics and get home safely?
Written by Bob Carlton nearly 30 years ago, this play has undergone many changes since its conception. With its bright and loud songlist -to the costumes of the characters- Starset Theatre have captured most if not all of its early promise.
Set within the flight deck of the ship, with all flashy buttons and the mandatory comfy seat for the Captain, we set sail for outer limits with song a plenty and choreography to dazzle.
With 51 performers on stage there was hardly enough room to swing the proverbial cat, but the cast managed very well to overcome this. The story with its space age and love theme went brilliantly hand in hand with its musical numbers. Songs such as the great 'It's a Man's World', 'Teenager in Love', 'Shake, Rattle and Roll and 'The Monster Mash' entertained the many parents and public in the crowd.
I had worried that the Shakespearean aspect of the show (The Bard's-The Tempest is worked into the storyline) would be too advanced for the many youngsters in the audience, but they got it!
I have reviewed a few of the principal actors before in Footloose and was good to see them performing well this time around, although a few lines had to be prompted, as well as a little bit of disorganisation from the main body of the cast, this was a good showing from the many first-timers.
Aaron Hastings pulled off a brilliant Dr. Prospero, his mad ramblings and cursings for the crew when down on his luck was fabulous to see. Aliya Zaidi certainly wasn't miscast as the lovely Miranda, her beauty was not only in her looks, but also in her acting. Louis Simpson playing Cookie, one part of the spacial love triangle, performed very well in his pursuits of love. Luke Maddison as Captain Tempest had a bit of an off day, though his acting skills are very much present. Ariel the robot-on-roller-skates was superbly played by David Jones, his stage presence was clear to see -I take my hat off to the WD40 can.
Choreography was perfect in this play, Claire McMahon has done a great job.
The Lighting and sound by the backline Customs House staff, were spot on with their delivery.
Director Elissa Hudson along with Musical Director husband John (who also played in the pit on the keys, along with Lee Dixon on the drums) have come up with a great production with local budding actors, that thrilled the audience, and hopefully put a smile on Mr Shakespeare's face.
Playing until April 10th at 2pm and 7.15pm