Return to the Forbidden Planet, written by Bob Carlton, is based on the film The Forbidden Planet and also Shakespeare's The Tempest.
This fun toe-tapping musical performed by Romsey's Plaza Theatre Youth Group and directed by William Ross-Jones was entertaining from start to finish. The set is creative, colourful and gives the impression of a starship bridge complete with multi platforms, flashing lights and, of course, sliding doors. The use of light and sound enhances various emergencies faced by the crew whose Star Trek-style shaking and falling worked well to give a sense of motion.
Music for the performance is provided by a live six-piece band on a platform above the stage and, while sometimes a little too loud for the singing to be heard, they are consistently impressive having no trouble adapting to the musical styles. Costumes include bright and colourful uniforms for the most part with the addition of a robot, a chef and two female characters.
Acting from the young cast, ranging from 8 - 18, is wonderful with everyone belting out the musical numbers and joining in with fun and energetic choreography. Highlights include Isabelle Mitchell as Captain Tempest; serious, stoic and all-business until falling for Miranda. Jamie Reid as Doctor Prospero; gleefully chomping his way through each of his scenes. Callum Hurst as Cookie who displays wonderful comic timing and genuine pathos. Diana Thomas as Miranda, providing the love interest for Captain Tempest and boasting a lovely singing voice and a excellent dance skills. The rest of the cast and ensemble move the story along at a breath-taking place, leaving the audience wanting more.
With all the elements in this production; music, dancing, singing and Shakespearean dialogue, this is a wonderfully entertaining show.