Sunday, September 02, 2012

Return to the Forbidden Planet

On Thursday evening I joined a packed out audience for the opening night of Return to the Forbidden Planet at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch.

Written by artistic director Bob Carlton, Forbidden Planet presents an eighties take on the classic fifties sci-fi film. Now thirty years old, the play toured nationally in 1989 and was last at the Queen's in 2001. It features many well known - and some obscure - lines from Shakespeare, combined with sixties music hits including 'Teenager in Love' and 'Great Balls of Fire'. The audience joined in enthusiastically with many of the most famous hits.

this play really challenges its star performers, requiring them to play music as well as act. Thus the ship's cook - played by Queen's newcomer Mark Newnham - is transformed into a rock guitarist in one scene and everyone displays multiple talents as the show develops. Playing a saxophone is challenging enough but doing so whilst carrying an attractive young lady, balancing on roller skates and pretending to be a robot is well beyond standard expectations - so hats off to Frederick "Frido" Ruth who plays Ariel.

There is even an on screen appearance from Richard O'Brien who starred in Flash Gordon and fronted up the Crystal Maze TV show, although his dark glasses initially make him familiar but difficult to recognise.

It is well worth spending an evening with Captain Tempest and the crew of  the Intergalactic Starship Albatross. Tickets are available from .

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