I set myself a goal for after my surgery and this was to get myself to see my favourite show of all time, Return to the Forbidden Planet, a rock n roll musical that I have been mad about since 1992 when I happened to get invited to see the show when it was on its uk tour and it was on in Bristol. From that moment on I was hooked, I saw the show as many times as I could and every year it toured I would see it at least 2-3 times.
In 2001 I heard it was going on tour again as it hadn’t toured since 1996, so I was incredibly excited and went to see it at Cheltenham and Bristol and numerous other places. I took a lot of different friends to see the show as well and got a lot of people into it as well, which was cool. I was dead chuffed when I was asked if my website could be the official website, so of course I said yes and that just added to my love of the show.
In 2002 it toured again with a slight cast change, but these two years of seeing the show changed my life immensely, I widened my music knowledge, my confidence in going places and lots of other things.
Since 2002 there hasn’t been a production out there under the writer and creators name Bob Carlton, there are numerous amateur productions and there was a professional production that went out in 2006 but wasn’t a patch on Bobs productions.
So when I heard that Planet was coming on for 6 weeks in Hornchurch, I had to go. Sadly my first trip had to be cancelled as it was the day after finding out my results from the biopsy and I had a migraine (probably brought on by stress) so couldn’t go.
So when I looked at the next free weekend I had it was the weekend of my surgery and I didn’t think I would be up to it by then. So when I found out there was a Sunday production, I leapt at it and as my lovely Di said she would come with me, I was all ready to book. Then my lovely mum said she would take me and Di so I booked tickets for Mum, Ron, Di and myself. Sorted!!!
So today was the day, I felt a little groggy and stiff this morning, but I had to keep going as I needed to see the show 🙂
The drive is just over two hours, but it’s so worth it when you get to Hornchurch, I love The Queens Theatre, it has a magical feel to it. I was very excited to see James Earl Adair outside the theatre so nipped over to say a quick hello as hadn’t seen him for a few years. Once I was inside, it felt like I was home again, I hadn’t been there for about 4 years but it felt lovely.
I won’t go on too much about the show in detail, but basically it is a actor musician show based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest set to rock n roll music. All of the actors play at least 3 instruments and swap instruments throughout the show. It’s amazing to watch and one of the actors is on roller skates and skates around the stage playing the saxophone while another actor is wrapped around him singing. It’s a joy to behold.
Now I have seen this show well over a hundred times, I have long lost count of how many times I have seen it and was thrilled to see that one of my favourite actresses was playing the lead role of Gloria, Jane had always played the Navigation Officer when I had seen the show and I have seen her in other shows and know she has an amazing voice, she had been the understudy to Gloria in 2001/2002 but I had never seen her take on the role, so now I was going to get my chance and boy was it worth it. Gloria’s main song is Go Now which was originally sung by The Moody Blues, and I almost cried last night hearing Janes’s version, she has such a soulful voice and I could listen to her sing for hours, (Jane you need your own album :-))
Frido Ruth is the rollerskating robot in the show and he has played Ariel in most of the shows that I have seen and he is Sooo funny and talented, he can get the audience doing all sorts of silly things and he choreographed the show as well. I haven’t seen Frido since 2002 but was so good to see he hadn’t lost any of his magic.
James Earl Adair was back as Dr Prospero and once again rocked the stage during all shook up and this is one of may favourite songs and one I have performed as Ivan the Drag King, I have seen James in quite a few other shows now, but he is my favourite Dr Prospero 🙂
Simon Jessop was back as Bosun, I had seen Simon play this part numerous times in the 90’s and knew he would be really good and he didnt disappoint, I had seen Nick Lashbrook play this role the most so it was interesting to see Simon play it in a softer style to Nick and I liked it.
The rest of the cast were also amazing but the actors I have mentioned above have all featured in my theatre life for some time now and mean a lot to me, when I was out of work and pretty low, Planet was there to lift my spirits and I threw myself into it and working on the website. It may sound silly but at the time, it was the only thing I looked forward to, it was like a drug to me, a legal high so to speak, so the fact that planet came on at this time in my life was another sign that it’s a “fix” and the high I got yesterday lifted me out of my slightly dozy thoughts to get up and clap and cheer to the best of my abilities. Ok I couldn’t jump around like I used to, I had to keep my arm firmly clamped to my side and be a little restrained 🙂
My mum and Ron and Di all said I overdid it yesterday, but I know I didnt 🙂 I don’t feel sore apart from my right hand where the cannula went in and I think is a bit bruised from all the clapping 🙂
So I would like to thank my Planet chums for the amazing show yesterday and my lovely friend Pink Tim who was there too. My amazing Di who doesn’t like rock n roll music (gasp!!!) came to the show knowing it wouldn’t be her cup of tea, but said she enjoyed it, thought it was good but not her cup of tea bless her 🙂 so that means the world to me that she even came to see it, knowing its not her thing :-). Mum and Ron also got dragged along and poor mums been dragged to see it so many times now, but she knows how much it meant for me to see it, so offered to drive so she and Ron did the driving which meant I could doze in the back.
If you ever get the chance go see Return to the Forbidden Planet, I am seriously hoping it will tour again one day as its a show that deserves to be seen 🙂
“Live Long and Prospero”