‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’

We are very proud of all Year 8 pupils and volunteer Year 7s after their fantastic performance last night (Thursday 27th June).  It was quite a feat to rehearse such a complicated show in just a little over a week, but one they mastered with aplomb.  This year’s Summer Musical was ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ by Bob Carlton, very loosely based on ‘The Tempest’ and referencing numerous other Shakespeare plays.  It is a crazy, hilarious adventure set in space, as 1950s comic book characters crash-land on Illyria and find the mad scientist Prospero, his beautiful daughter, a strange robot and a horrific monster.

Our chisel-jawed hero, Captain Tempest, was played with great swagger by Will S, who fell for the charms of the beautiful young heroine Miranda (the lovely Miranda R).  Ludo G gave a fantastic performance as the mad scientist Prospero, matched by his mysterious and glorious wife Gloria (Melisa A).  Oliver S was the soft-hearted robot, Ariel, and Noah P was a delightfully hopeless romantic in the spaceship’s cook.  Mia G (Bosun) and Connie S (Navigation Officer) led the wonderful crew of Year 8s and Year 7 volunteer space cadets.  Henry L and Alistair M guided us through the exciting but almost incomprehensible adventure by providing news updates on what on earth was happening!

‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ is a fun-filled show, with a wealth of famous 1950s classic songs; Sue Glossop and Lucinda Sheppard worked tirelessly to ensure that these were delivered with great gusto and were accompanied by an excellent ‘2019 Space Odyssey’ band.  It has been an honour and joy to work with Lucinda and learn from her talents; I am very sad that this is her last hurrah at Vinehall but I wish her every success and happiness as she heads off to Battle Abbey.

A show such as this demands a huge amount of backstage work, particularly from the lovely Caroline Collins.  Staff supported rehearsals; Tom Moore managed to light up everything with his usual calm good humour; Darren Eglington helped me with a strange array of weird sound effects; and Ollie Dorman put the set together and helped with all sorts of space gadgets.

The incredible Intergalactic Starship Albatross set was designed and painted by Gayle Fernau and Kate Hunt, with a small and very select team of mothers helping with painting and sourcing old computer equipment.  Kate was also in charge of the colourful costumes, ably supported by Naomi Forder, Amanda Greenhalgh, Alison Hollingsworth, Gilly Lowe, Harriet Parkin, Karen Soan and Karen Spooner.  Kate worked tirelessly throughout the Summer Term, with incredible attention to detail, skill and creativity – and she doesn’t even have a Year 8 child!  I am hugely grateful to all of them.

There is another opportunity to see the show tonight at 7.00pm.  Please come along and support our wonderful Year 8s.

Mary Alderson

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