Return To The Forbidden Planet

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Return to the Forbidden Planet was performed in Langwith Dining Hall on 12th-13th June 2004. Tickets were £4 and £3 for students. "Shakespeare's forgotten rock & roll masterpiece" is based (very, very loosely) on the plot of The Tempest -set in space.


Highlights of our version of the show included the monster from the Id (three collapsible tubes, painted luminous green and manipulated by the cast to make it seem that they were being attacked); a smoke machine that didn't understand its cues and just fired off randomly; sound effects that occured after we'd reacted to them; and the wonderful set. In true Blue Peter style, the whole thing, including the Klystron generator, was created from milk bottle tops, the insides of computer keyboards, toilet roll tubes, CD's and an unfathomable quantity of gaffer and hazard tape.

There was also the memorable moment during the last performance when Chris attempted to pick up his glass of water, and discovered that it had been taped to the arm of his captain's chair. Ah, those pesky techies, he thought, removing it with some difficulty and taking a large sip…and nearly spitting it out! Innocent water had been replaced with gin! (Even more amusingly, the rest of the cast had been aware of this for some time, as the teckies had written a message on the back of the captain's chair.) Chris got his revenge, if such it can be called, after the show by throwing the remaining contents of the glass over the offending teckie, backstage helper Iain Dempsey.

Mind spiders, a deadly species that pop up occassionally in conversation occassionally even now, were first invented during this show.



Caz Bennett- Director
A few 'step-click' dance routines, a spaceship set, and ray-gun shopping have made Caz's first directorial experience absolutely delightful. Always remember: "Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but paddling like the dickens underneath."

Cordelia Williams- Musical Director
Having been in the orchestra, the chorus and a principal for G&S shows for the last three years, Cordy decided a bit of power was just the thing. Also a bit of rock 'n' roll- nothing lime a good wap wah ooh, eh?

Andy Vick- Technical Director
Having been promoted this year to the dizzy heights of technical director (his predecessor now being a mere actor) Andy brings several unique skills to the post: charm, good looks and a lack of control.


Joe Bennett- Cookie
With being elected as 50% of the newly-appointed Press and Publicity, Joe has been busy this term. In preparation for the show, Joe remembers that acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.

Chris Charlton- Capt. Tempest
One of the society's longest-serving and most egotistical members. Chris has doubled up as both Captain Tempest and society chair. He's maintained his sanity this term, but has occasionally been seen twitching slightly and muttering, "No, not the aparagus again!"

Laura Dalton- Miranda
Laura's degree in writing and performance provides her with lots of spare 'reading' time as well as a love for all things musical and theatrical! She not only gets to dress up like a tart but act like one too, as she ends up kissing most of the male cast members!

Tor Steventon- Science Officer
Tor auditioned for her role purely on the basis of playing an evil scientist who gets to have a gun and scream a lot. In her spare time she enjoys building spaceships… no, really.

Rick Taylor- Ariel
Beneath Rick's placid and reserved exterior lurks a vitriolic, emotionally unstable and decidedly seedy alter-ego, who Rick has now dubbed 'Ariel'. Mercifully Ariel only reveals himself during episodes of high trauma such as G&S society productions. Rick's persona is complicated further by him being Joe's other half (see above).

Alex Gurney- Doctor Prospero
Alex can jump over bullets and run into walls. He is not as terrifying as he may at first appear.

Oliver Fisher- Bosun Arras
Oliver is taking a change of scene (if you excuse the pun) for his sixth production with the society having been Technical Director for the previous five. Despite its sci-fi theme, his technical expertise will not be of use during this show because )without wishing to give away any company secrets) the console buttons are bottle lids, the ray guns are from Price Pounder and kids, Ariel is just an actor…

Fran Lavery- Nav Officer
Fran is a sci-fi and Shakespeare fan, so she knew Forbidden Planet would be just the show for her. Hoping to find a career in the theatre, she is thankful that she does little work as an English Literature student.

Rebecca Mellor- Comms Officer
This is Becca's fourth show with the society having previously played lolanthe (Iolanthe), Mrs. Banks (Mary Poppins) and Tessa (The Gondoliers). Following these parts (two romantic young girls and a feminist middle-aged woman), Becca is completing her repertoire with the part of a scatty Air Hostess. Hmmm, which does she play best…

And guest starring…
Paul Harford- The Newscaster
Paul achieved his exquisite elocution by training with Tibetan monks for seven years. His cherubic looks and dress sense he was born with.


Katie Barnett, Ayeesha Bhutta, James E. Butterworth, Rachel Davis, Ruadh Duggan, Lois Cross, Sarah Harris, Samantha King, Nick Lay, Matthew Lucass, Alex Mortlock, J. Mark Pim, Steven Purvis, Helen Roberts, Alec Robinson, Rachael Stephenson, Karen Tonks, Linda Westwood


Robbie Berryman- Keys
James Taylor- Bass guitar
Martin Goodfellow- Drums
Adam Leith- Drums
Jon Tandy- Trumpet
Adair Elder- Trumpet
Chris Wiggins- Trumpet


Technical Director- Andy Vick
Technical Consultant- Oliver Fisher
Stage Manager- Max Weitzmann
Stage Crew- Iain Dempsey
Lighting Manager- Andy Vick
Lighting Crew- Keith McKillop, Richard Ablitt
Sound Manager- Richard Ash
Set Design- Andrew Vick, Tor Steventon, Caz Bennett, Oliver Fisher
Set Construction- Andrew Vick, Tor Steventon, Caz Bennett, Max Weitzmann, Iain Dempsey, Richard Ash, Keith McKillop, members of the society

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