‘Return’ Returns

Return to the Forbidden Planet, the much-adored and critically acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll musical is marking its 25th anniversary with an official return tour starting this month. The Grand Theatre will host the musical, which is inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the 1950s sci-fi film Forbidden Planet, from Monday 27 April to Saturday 2 May 2015.

Originally billed as Shakespeare’s forgotten rock and roll masterpiece, this high-camp production mixes dialogue largely adapted from well-known passages from his plays with silver space suits, concealed keyboards and drums which sporadically burst into renditions of 1950s and 60s classics such as Great Balls of Fire, Teenager In Love, GLORIA, Shake Rattle and Roll, and Wipeout, the somewhat ironically named brain-enhancing formula ‘X Factor’, plus a roller-skating robot Ariel and even a guest appearance via video-projection of Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May!Return to the Forbidden Planet

The story follows a space-ship under the command of Captain Tempest on a routine survey flight which gets caught in a meteor shower. The ship is drawn mysteriously to the planet D’Illyria where the crew meet mad scientist Doctor Prospero, who has been marooned on the planet since his wife and science partner Gloria sent him and their daughter Miranda into space.

Shakespeare fans should take pleasure in working their way through the jumble of references, sci-fi fans will enjoy the B-movie production values and audiences of all ages will have great fun watching the antics of the crew as they try to navigate their way through the storm and escape the tentacles of a terrible monster.

The show has been revived by the original design team, including creator and director Bob Carlton, 25 years after it first appeared in the West End in 1989. Bob Carlton said: …thanks to the audiences, who took it to their hearts and rocked out every night…it became such a cult success. I can’t wait to bring it back 25 years later, to introduce it to a whole new generation and to reunite with original fans of the show.”Return to the Forbidden Planet

So take your protein pills and put your silver face-paint on!

Return to the Forbidden Planet is at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Monday 27 April to Saturday 2 May 2015 with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets start at £20 and are available from box office on 01253 290190 or online.

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    Melanie Whitehead is the Creative Director of The Old Electric, Blackpool's newest theatre. She previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

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