Buckle up – you’re about to have you senses assaulted by a crazed mash-up of Shakespeare and 60s rock and roll hits. And mostly in a good way.
The Maddermarket’s production of Return To The Forbidden Planet is a colourful, rambunctious performance that has its tongue firmly in cheek.
The story is (very) loosely based on The Tempest, transported into space and backed by rock n roll hits like Gloria, Great Balls of Fire, and She’s Not There. There’s also a splattering of pilfered lines from other Shakespeare tales.
This is the Bard on some mind-altering concoction: it’s best not to try to make too much sense of it – just relax and enjoy the silliness.
Leading the melee is Gavin Bromley as Captain Tempest – channelling all the charm and swagger of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk but with a much better singing voice. John Mangan as the deranged Dr Prospero and Julie Hewitt as Gloria also put in out of this world performances.
Understudy Robin Watson stepped seamlessly up to the plate as robot Ariel for the opening night show, and Richard Jarmy led the supporting cast as Cookie, with a pleasing Elvis-like twang to his vocals. Sci-fi royalty Terry Molloy – Doctor Who’s Davros – makes a light-hearted cameo as the narrator.
The tight seven-piece live band sound great, and Peter Beck and James Utting’s set and Amanda Greenway’s costumes are visual treats that set off this enjoyable romp.