Forbidden Planet

 

CAST LIST

PRODUCTION TEAM

               
Captain Tempest James Wheildon Gloria Louise Brown     Director Jo Morrison
Dr Prospero Ian Lambert Miranda Catherine Quinn     Musical Director Zoe Humphries
Ariel Steve Letich         Choreographer Sarah Blackman-Davies
Cookie Thom McGowan            
Bosun Harrus James O'Gorman         Stage Management Robin Cordell
Navigation Office Brian Minchin         Sound Dave Korman
Newscaster Ian Akhurst         Lighting Ben Morrison
               
            Photography Will Harris

 

NODA

Tony Sweeney

General

This was an excellent show drawing on iconic music from the 1950's up till the 1960's to give Shakespeare a rock and roll twist, performed by an enthusiastic cast who mingled with the audience before the show adding to the feel of a starship about to take flight. . The pre-flight announcements covered phones and photos and made it part of the show which was a nice touch.

Players - Leading

James Wheildon (Captain Tempest) exuded attitude from the start giving the part a strong character. His singing was good and for "all shook up" we were treated to an excellent Elvis impression which not only reflected the song but also the character.

Ian Lambert (Prospero) was suitably way out with some wonderful facial expressions and movement to emphasise his role as a mad scientist. His rendition of the monster mash was excellent.

Louise Brown (Science officer/Gloria) has a wonderful voice both strong and sonorous and this meant she gave a stunning performance with some truly fantastic songs. She also has a towering stage presence which took the eye and had to subdue this in the opening scene to play the demur science officer. Her rendition of "go now" was exceptional conveying real emotion.

Steve Leitch (Ariel) aided by a fantastic costume played a robot on skates. The use of skates giving him a surreal and mechanical movement throughout. I was impressed when he performed the shadows leg over dance. His voice and general demeanour worked to underline the role. A good singing voice was also used well in a number of songs.

Thom McGowan (Cookie) again had a superb voice I especially liked his version of "she's not there" which was sung with real emotion and passion.

Catherine Quinn (Miranda) as Prospero's sheltered daughter who is changed by her meeting with the starship crew gave an interesting and strong performance altering before our eyes not only through costume changes but also by some excellent acting skills. She sang "teenager in love" with real feeling which was a real highlight.

James O'Gorman (Bosun Arras) as the ships bosun gave a solid performance which acted as a counterpoint to the flamboyant captain and was both comfortable and relaxed on stage.

Brian Minchin (Navigation Officer) again gave a solid performance with some nice touches. Again the role needed to be one the captain could work off and he performed this aspect well.

Ian Akhurst (Newsreader) appeared on AV acting as announcer and to remind the audience of the plot so far. Blessed with a plethora of quotes opening with the start of "Romeo and Juliet" and ending with the end of "A midsummer nights dream" gave him a real authority. Strange to think he was a key part of the plot but was not present. That's show biz.

Support

The supporting players were energetic and enthusiastic. The small dance troupe was particularly good with some nice dance routines adding to the spectacle well and giving the songs even greater impact.

Director

Jo Morrison clearly had a feel for the show and this reflected in the overall feel of the piece. Good use of both the stage space and the performers was underlined by some excellent technical work.

Musical Director

Zoe Humphries as MD provided an excellent and balanced level of sound that blended well with the singers leading to some really memorable performances.

Choreographer

Sarah Davies-Blackman devised some excellent dance routines which were clearly geared to the dancer's abilities. This made a real contribution to the shows pace and impact. Having a small troupe of specialist dancers allowed her to include some more challenging and complex routines which were integrated well into the show.

Stage Management

The stage management was well worked resulting in a slick and seamless level of performance.

Sound

The sound levels were excellent with both voice and instrument levels perfectly balanced to add to the audiences enjoyment of some timeless songs.

Lightning

An excellent lighting rig was used well to develop atmosphere and dramatic impact.

Make-up

The make up was appropriate for each performer the robot make up for Aerial was suitably striking which added to the wow fact at his first appearance.

Set Design

A spectacular set based on the bridge of a starship was used well. Equipped with lights and dials it certainly helped create the illusion of a trip into space for the audience. This really allowed the show to work and played a real part in the overall impact.

Props

The pros were used well I did think using hairdryers as ray guns was clever as it did the job but also reinforced the more comic aspects of the show.

Costumes

The costumes reflected the starship theme and seemed to be based on the original Star Trek TV series. This was reinforced as the cast mingled with the audience prior to the show giving the feel of attendants helping passengers pre-flight.

Programme

The excellent programme tied in with the theme of the evening not only giving some useful information but also providing and excellent souvenir.


Front of house

The welcome every member of the audience got from those on the door was sincere and warm and this set the mood for the evening.