Review: Duchess's Community High School's Return to the Forbidden Planet performed at Alnwick Playhouse

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Duchess’s Community High School students showcased their talent in a production of Return to the Forbidden Planet.

Return to the Forbidden Planet is Bob Carlton’s bonkers 80s musical that tells the story of the SS Albatross, whose crew goes on a thrilling space adventure full of shenanigans.

The Alnwick school’s production gave the script a modern update by making the entire crew female, with the men being left with the domestic chores, resulting in a fun and fresh retelling of the original that made the school’s art department live up to their ArtsMark Platinum status.

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The range of young talent was incredible, and it wasn’t just the actors who shone on stage but the all-student band as well, who’s masterful performance created the immersive experience that gives DCHS productions their edge. The hard work from those both on stage and behind the scenes – handling the sound, lighting, costumes and set design – meant the audience were treated to a rock n roll spectacle that had them laughing and singing along.

Each musical number was delivered with outstanding vocals and passionate delivery.Each musical number was delivered with outstanding vocals and passionate delivery.
Each musical number was delivered with outstanding vocals and passionate delivery.

The show opened to a strong start as Bosun Arras, played by Masami Kurio, welcomed the audience aboard and eventually had them joining in with the madness from the get-go to set the vibe for the rest of the performance. As more characters were introduced, it was clear that the casting was spot-on and that the talent was undeniable, with each actor having their spotlight moment. A notable mention must be made for the crew’s youngest member Daz, played by Dolcie Rogers, who, at age 11, has become the DCHS’ youngest student to be cast in a principal singing role.

Also of note was the story’s main character, Captain Tempest, played by Hermione Hall, whose energy as the leading role gave a captivating and moving performance as her love for Cesario, played by Tyler Kelly, grew, which in turn had Sophie McLaren deliver some powerful vocals as the sassy Cookie battled with unrequited love.

Of course, the story would not have been complete without the brilliantly mad scientist Dr Prospero, perfectly portrayed by Archie Braid, who’s cool yet chilling demeanour perfectly encapsulated the character’s antagonistic charm.

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It’s safe to say it was a huge success, evident by the packed auditorium and audience’s prolonged standing ovation on the show’s final night, which was truly well-deserved.

Hermione Hall as Captain Tempest.Hermione Hall as Captain Tempest.
Hermione Hall as Captain Tempest.

Hermione Hall (Captain Tempest), Masami Kurio (Bosun Arras), Sophie McLaren (Cookie), Evie Capps (Navigation Officer), Archie Braid (Doctor Prospero), Emilia Grimes (Science Officer), Tyler Kelly (Cesario), Isabel Baskerville (Ariel), Dolcie Rogers (Daz), Ethan Spall (TK-421), Sam Thornbury (TK-422), Jack Rowley (TK-423), Zach Turner (TK-424).Directorial TeamMartin Allenby (Director), Eleanor Wilson (Assistant Director), Richard Lyst (Associate Director).

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