Return to the Forbidden Planet

CAROLINE CULOT Norwich Theatre Royal


Norwich Theatre Royal

It was a miserable Monday evening but oh boy, how Norwich rocked last night to the sounds of Return to the Forbidden Planet.

If you were looking for a quiet night out sitting in your seat in the dark with no participation then this wasn't the show for you. Because from the start, this rock 'n' roll musical, which pays tongue-in-cheek homage to the 1956 sci-fi cult movie Forbidden Planet, was all about getting the whole audience dancing and clapping in the aisle. And to achieve this with a Norwich audience on a first night certainly says something for the truly talented cast. The 10 performers really showed-off some versatility and enthusiasm able to sing, dance and play musical instruments including the electric guitar, electric violin and saxophone as well as master Shakespeare. You can't get too much more versatile than that.

This is a stage show all about having fun - both for the cast and audience although it's more than just a journey through some of the great rock 'n' roll hits like Great Balls of Fire, Good Vibrations, Teenager in Love, Shake, Rattle and Roll and The Young Ones.

For those who haven't seen it on

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its previous visits to Norwich, it's rather bizarrely based on Shakespeare's the Tempest so it all adds up for quite a unique production with performers spouting the Bard while rocking 'n' rolling

with their electric guitars dressed in colourful space gear. Oh, and the narrator is played on screen by the infamous Brian May of Queen.

It's a show you either love or hate but one thing is for sure, you can't ignore it. It's certainly not for those who want pure Shakespeare or pure rock 'n' roll.

But if you want to have an evening fun and laughter and then leave the theatre doing your Van Morrison impression, this is definitely the show to go and see.

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