Tag Archive: Great Balls of Fire


This was my second experience of Trinity Musical Theatre Company, having seen their offering of The Witches of Eastwick twelve months ago. So, would this year’s production also deliver satisfaction?

Return to the Forbidden Planet – Dormiston Mill Theatre – 4 November 2017

The first thing to note is the cast are already on stage as the audience enter the auditorium. A good effect which grabs your attention as soon as you hit the seats. An impressive set with costumes reminiscent of Sci-Fi films, one of which Forbidden Planet is famous. In particular, the clone-like appearance of the females which had me thinking of Gerry Anderson’s UFO series of the 1970s.

The show has a low-key opening with flight attendants giving a demonstration of safety precautions. Different, but amusing. Then we have countdown and blast off to the sound of Wipe Out. What caught me straight away was how full the stage was. This was much down to members of the Linzi G School of Dance. A great collaboration which not only sees additional energy and interaction on stage, it also gives pupils experience to add to the CV.

Any fan of rock and roll will love Forbidden Planet; the hits come one after another. Great Balls of Fire, Good Vibrations and Young Girl, to name a few. And a good way to end the show with a medley of tunes, culminating with the comic, Monster Mash.

This is a strange show for me because there is so much I don’t like to begin with. I’m not a fan of the clunky Shakespearian dialogue, neither do I like the cop-out reprise at the start of Act Two where you have a different conclusion to the previous scene, but that’s just the writer in me. The fact I have niggles with the original Bob Carlton script goes to show how good a job the cast and crew have done to get me still raving positive about what was before me.

On the night there were excellent performances from Mitch Bastable as Tempest, Beth Berwick-Lowe (Miranda) and Pat Lewis (Prospero). Also supporting well were Naomi-Leeanne Millard (Gloria), Steve Taylor (Ariel), Abigail James (Bosun) and Mark Moran (Cookie). Okay, Cookie was a trifle older than expected, but this was dealt with in a tongue-in-cheek way at the end of Teenager in Love.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable night out. The biggest compliment I can give, though is that on the way to the theatre, I had the London Cast Recording CD on in the car. Trinity’s performance was better. Production for the show was in the experienced hands of Andy Poulton with choreography by Lindsey Grant (of Linzi G fame) and musical direction from Dan Tomkinson.

Return to the Forbidden Planet – Dormiston Mill Theatre – 4 November 2017

Next year, Trinity turn their hands to The Wizard of Oz and on current evidence, it will be another great show.

Cheers.

Antony N Britt

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Great Wyrley Performing Arts School was the setting last week for a rock and roll trip into outer space and journey to the planet D’Illyria. Return to the Forbidden Planet is a show I had never seen, therefore something I was keen to redress. Performed by the Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS), Forbidden Planet was the latest in a long line of quality productions put out by the society since their formation, 45 years ago.

Written by Bob Carlton, Forbidden Planet is based on the 1950s film of the same name which in turn, took its origins from Shakespeare’s – The Tempest. Set in the far future, Return to the Forbidden Planet delivers the obligatory mad scientist Dr Prospero, his daughter Miranda, a rollerskating robot, a lovestruck ship’s cook, the authoritative Captain Tempest, science officer Gloria and the rest of the crew. Interspersed between scenes, we also had a strange old woman thrown into the mix, to help narrate the plot along with much amusement.

Good humour, great acting and excellent delivery of numerous rock and roll numbers gave the perfect mix for this show. My only criticism would be that of the original script itself which was, to be honest, slightly disappointing given I had waited many years to finally see it performed. The beginning is very low key and doesn’t really get going until a good ten minutes in with Great Balls of Fire. It could really have done with a more kick-ass start but thankfully, the quality showed by AMCS, soon got the starship’s engines moving.

In addition to Great Balls of Fire, you had Young Girl, Good Vibrations and even Monster Mash, all of them keeping the rock juices pumping.

The acting was great. Singing – superb. A special word should also go to the band members of the orchestra without who, these brilliant numbers would not have had the impact they did. Good scenery too.

As I said, I was a little underwhelmed by the actual script as it has supposedly been a popular, top show for many years. Quite frankly, having seen AMCS a number of times before, I am more impressed by many of their own in-house, home-grown scripts like those used in the end of year pantomime.

Would I go to see Return to the Forbidden Planet again elsewhere? Probably not. Any future production by AMCS? Definitely.

AMCS return to Great Wyrley in late 2012 with original pantomime: Dick Whittington and the Pirate King. Put it in your diary. Not to be missed. Watch this space for details.

Note of Irony: Doctor Prospero’s futuristic formula – X-Factor, is a potion which can enhance the brain and mind. Stark contrast to the television X-Factor of the modern day, which dulls it.

Cheers.

Nick

Great Wyrley is the venue this week for Return to the Forbidden Planet, the latest production from the excellent Aldridge Musical Comedy Society. From Thurs 17 to Sat 19 May (7.30pm plus 2.30pm Sat Matinee), rock & roll meets outer space as classic songs: Great Balls of Fire, Good Vibrations and many more, reach across the solar system.

For over 40 years, AMCS has been putting out quality productions and Return to the Forbidden Planet, will be no exception. Tickets are £12/adult & £9/concessions. However this week, if you use the code Tempest, there is a £2 reduction.

The show is being staged at Great Wyrley Performing Arts School Theatre, Hall Lane, Great Wyrley. Tickets are still availabler and can be obtained by calling 01543 480626 or by going to the AMCS website www.aldridgemcs.co.uk – Barring that, email me via this site or Twitter, and I’ll get someone to call you back.

Cheers.

Nick

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