Shakespeare meets sci-fi

Miranda (Meg Lucas) declares her love for Captain Tempest (Dan Fahey). Her horrified father, Prospero (Ewan Stevenson) shows his disgust.
Miranda (Meg Lucas) declares her love for Captain Tempest (Dan Fahey). Her horrified father, Prospero (Ewan Stevenson) shows his disgust. Tim Howard

THURSDAY'S preview of the Criterion Theatre's Return to the Forbidden Planet should give theatre-goers a clue they are in for an entertaining night out.

There were a few kinks early in the performance, but as the cast warmed to the task, the performance began to flow.

One of the attractions for anyone with just a passing interest in drama is the way this play restores the Shakespearian touch to the sci-fiction story.

The original movie, The Forbidden Planet, is an update of the Shakespeare drama, The Tempest, where a shipload of mariners is marooned on an island ruled by the mysterious Prospero.

Hollywood stripped out the Shakespearian language for the movie about a spaceship that is drawn to a strange planet, but Return to the Forbidden Planet puts it back in - and then some again.

Fans of the Bard will have fun picking out the references to his works, although the reference to a radar screen "Two bleep or not two bleeps", is not the best of them.

But Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, King Lear and Henry V all supply plenty of dialogue.

The integration of rock and roll music into the story keeps the story ticking over at a good pace.

The lyrics of some popular songs have had some minor alterations to get them to fit the plot.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson, beamed in from far away, does a fine job as the narrator.

Topics:  criterion theatre science fiction shakespeare theatre

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