Thursday, October 23, 2014


Return to the Forbidden Planet

Queen’s Theatre launches 25th anniversary UK tour

The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, proudly launches the 25th anniversary UK tour of Return to the Forbidden Planet, the Olivier Award-winning rock ‘n’ roll musical, on 6 November.

This fantastic show blasts off from Hornchurch, where its run until 15 November is very nearly sold out already! It will then tour the country until the summer. It stars the cut to the chase… company, the Queen’s permanent ensemble of actor-musicians.

Dashing Captain Tempest and his flight officers take audiences on an exciting interplanetary adventure into hyperspace, where they meet mad scientist Prospero, his beautiful daughter Miranda and Ariel, the amazing rock ‘n’ roller-skating robot. Battling asteroid storms and faulty Photon Shields, does this motley crew ever get to the bottom of Prospero’s mysterious X Factor formula? And can they escape the Monster from the Id?

Premiering in 1989 in the West End before winning an Olivier the following year, Return to the Forbidden Planet sees members of its original creative and design team reunite for this special celebratory production including creator and writer Bob Carlton and designer Rodney Ford. This will aptly be Mr Carlton’s last production at the Queen’s, where he has been Artistic Director for 17 years. He leaves to pursue his freelance directing career.

This wonderfully feel-good family musical is a glorious mixture of influences. Inspired by the 1956 sci-fi B-movie Forbidden Planet – which is itself based on The Tempest - Return to the Forbidden Planet also manages to add a dash of Freudian psychoanalysis to the mix! Bob Carlton’s creation, written in blank verse, is driven by a delightfully unlikely selection of rock ‘n’ roll hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s and a hilarious take on Shakespeare’s greatest quotes!

As the first major musical to popularise the actor-musician ensemble, the show includes cosmic classics from The Animals, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison, to name a few. All played live on stage by cut to the chase…, who swap a multitude of instruments between them in a dazzling musical relay!

Return to the Forbidden Planet ran for four years in the West End, was nominated for two Outer Critics’ Circle Awards in New York and has delighted hundreds of thousands across the world, amassing a loyal cult following.

The cast includes cut to the chase… members Georgina Field, Christine Holman, Callum Hughes, Greg Last, Joseph Mann, Jonathan Markwood, Sean Needham, Mark Newnham, Sarah Scowen, Steve Simmonds and Fredrick “Frido” Ruth.

Return to the Forbidden Planet is directed by creator and writer Bob Carlton, with design by Rodney Ford, movement direction by Fredrick “Frido” Ruth, musical supervision by Julian Littman, musical direction by Greg Last, lighting design by Mark Dymock and sound design by Ben Harrison.

Bob Carlton's swansong runs at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch from 6 – 15 November. Tickets are £12.50 - £26.50. To book, call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or book online at

photograph of the Queen's 2012 production by Nobby Clark

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