RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET
Cambridge Theatre, London WC2
Opened 11 September, 1989; reviewed December, 1991

Familiar lines from all over Shakespeare, including the Sonnets. Blank-verse dialogue with lines like "We have been caught within a tractor beam/Which seems to emanate from yonder star". Detailed pisstaking of both The Tempest and the 1956 SF movie (with Leslie Nielsen as the romantic hero!) freely based on it. A cast of sickeningly talented multi-instrumentalists (even the backing singers triple up on saxes and drums) belting out old rock standards by the dozen. High-camp Dan Dare costumes and sets; special effects by Gerry Anderson; a video appearance as the Chorus from Patrick Moore.

If all that's still not enough to grab you and shake you warmly by the pleasure centres, you're probably living in a bottle of formaldehyde. This is Prospero's Jukebox: wackier than Peter Greenaway could ever be, and a hell of a lot more danceable.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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