Let me say immediately that the Senior School’s spring production simply exhausts my stock of superlatives. Its professionalism, humour and infectious exuberance combined to make a very special night in the Grange Theatre.
The show itself is a wonderful 1980s creation by Bob Carlton. It draws upon Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the classic 1950s B movie The Forbidden Planet, bringing together colourful characters from both sources and featuring a marvellous succession of 1950s and 1960s rock and roll and pop songs. Dialogue is largely - and sometimes liberally - adapted from well-known passages of Shakespeare, often with hilarious results!
Before the show even began you knew it was going to be quite an experience, with the remarkable set - or rather the USS Albatross – ready for its flight into space! It was a superb platform for the acting and singing talents of the company. All of the principals gave memorable performances. Jonathan Combey and Harry Sanger were wonderfully convincing as respectively the mad scientist Dr. Prospero and Captain Tempest. Natasha Shanley and Amelia Shackleton brought the characters of Gloria and Miranda to life with exceptional skill and energy. Seb Ritchie was superb as Bosun Arras, while Conor Holland was brilliantly effective in the role of Ariel the Robot! The role of ship’s cook and incurable romantic – Cookie – was memorably rendered by Will Prior, while Luisa Webster gave the proceedings highly authoritative direction as the Navigation Officer. They were supported throughout by a tremendously hard working and talented crew.
And then there was the music! Mr. Millinchip’s band provided outstanding backing and so much more. Rob Rannard’s guitar solo in She’s Not There had this ancient reviewer searching out his battered single of the Santana cover version! Space does not permit adequate mention of everyone else who contributed to the show but it would be criminal to omit the technical wizardry of Mr. Edwards and the lighting skills of Mr. Bamber, the superb contributions of everyone backstage and, of course, the sheer inspiration and expertise of Mrs. Bloor’s direction. Stellar stuff in every way! Totally cosmic!
Mr David Jones