Teens take to the stage for space odyssey

Duchess's High School pupils perform Return To The Forbidden Planet at Alnwick Playhouse.

Duchess's High School pupils perform Return To The Forbidden Planet at Alnwick Playhouse.

Students from a north Northumberland school are rehearsing furiously for the lift-off of their latest blockbuster musical.

The actors, singers and dancers from the Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick have been in dress rehearsals all day today at the town’s Playhouse theatre ahead of the opening performance of the West End hit Return to the Forbidden Planet on Wednesday.

It is set aboard the scientific spacecraft The Albatross heading off into deep space, led by the charismatic Captain Tempest and his hotch-potch space crew and borrows some classic songs from the ’50s and ’60s, including Good Vibrations, Wipeout and Only The Lonely,

The talented youngsters have hard acts to follow after their previous two musicals, Grease and Back to the 80s, were huge successes.

Martin Allenby, assistant headteacher, responsible for English and drama at the school, said: “We have some exciting new talent on show this year and we hope that they can continue the school’s long tradition of strong theatrical performances.”

The show runs from Wednesday to Saturday and performances begin at 7.30pm for the evening shows and at 2pm for a matinee performance on Saturday. Tickets cost £8 for adults, £7 for concessions and £6 for children/students. They are selling well and can be purchased from the Alnwick Playhouse box office, by phone on 01665 510785 or online from the Alnwick Playhouse website.


Return to the Forbidden Planet is a jukebox musical by playwright Bob Carlton, based on a combination of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the 1950s science-fiction film Forbidden Planet, which itself used The Tempest as the loose basis for its plot. It started life with the Bubble Theatre Company as a production for open-air performance in a tent. A revised version of the musical opened, indoors, at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool in the mid 1980s before it moved to London and the Tricycle Theatre. After some further work, a final version opened in London’s West End in September 1989. It won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in both 1989 and 1990.




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