2014 Forbidden Planet Review

Planetary Madness hits St George's

Will the world ever be the same again? 

At the end of November St George’s students staged Bob Carlton’s mammoth musical Return to the Forbidden Planet. Putting on a musical is a hard enough task for any professional company working around the clock. The students of St George’s had just a few short weeks to work, and an already full timetable, before even thinking about rehearsals, but somehow everyone worked a miracle and it took over 60 people to bring this ‘tour de force’ to the stage.

Audiences were genuinely entranced by the unique talents and confidence of our students in performance. I, for one, have to salute the sheer determination of cast and crew to be the best that they could be working in what were, at times, impossible circumstances. 

The performance was staged against a specially commissioned backdrop painted by the artist Robbie Hales and was a re-working of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, set in a musical landscape of the 1950’s and 60’s and the world of Science Fiction B-movies.

The stage was often alive with movement and action, with our dancers surprising the audience as they threaded in and out. It would be impossible to mention everyone in this short review who helped and encouraged and supported the whole project but some mention has to be made of Mr Tait, who not only worked so hard with the singers throughout the project but also played like a demon on the night, and, of course, Mr Wallace, who nearly stole the show with his performance of the Newscaster. You can read more about the individual students' starring roles on the intranet.

I personally have never really liked musicals (dare I say it!) but by the end of the last performance I had become a true convert. It was so fantastic to see the audience singing and dancing as they left the theatre – a moment of joy on a wintry night. By the end of the run people were begging for tickets and asking why we did not perform the show for more nights. The simple answer is that we are a school and school life rolls on with essays and coursework and… but it would have been nice to do it for just one more night!

What did the audiences think? Here are just a few of the comments we heard:

“…the best 20 euros I have ever spent in my life…! It was GREAT!.. I'm still humming Shake, Rattle and Roll...Loved it!... We are all battling for places as it really is fantastic… absolutely well done and thank you … I thought it was such a professional performance with wonderful acting, music and great costumes and lighting.… Great fun for audience and performers …. a superb, marvellous and wonderful show! What a great and memorable performance…a bravura performance from all the students and a great evening's entertainment….an absolutely awesomely superb show! …WOW!!!”

So… here’s to the next one!

Claire Angeletti, Head of Drama

Photos of the performances are available on the intranet.

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