Return to the Forbidden Planet


Writers: Bob Carlton


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
The Tempest [play], Forbidden Planet [1956 film]
Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Fairy Tale/Fantasy
Fantasy/Imaginary, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
space, the future
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Rock Combo
Musical Staging
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, late teen, young adult characters


Fasten your seatbelts, return your tray tables to the upright position and prepare to blast off! In this Olivier-award-winning musical, the many works of Shakespeare are aligned with a fabulous rock ‘n’ roll score to create a fun-filled, jiving-in-the-aisles musical. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the 1956 sci-fi classic film Forbidden Planet, Return to the Forbidden Planet finds a spaceship, helmed by Captain Tempest, making an emergency landing on the uncharted planet D’Illyria. The only residents there are the mad scientist Doctor Prospero, his daughter Miranda, and their robot Ariel. They were banished into hyperspace when Miranda was just a baby, and she has known no other world than this. Featuring rock ‘n’roll hits of the 50s and 60s (“Great Balls of Fire”, “The Monster Mash”, “Good Vibrations”, and others), a B-movie atmosphere, and dialogue in iambic pentameter, Return to the Forbidden Planet is Shakespeare’s unwritten rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece. Throw in a roller-skating robot, unrequited love, and a scary space monster, and you’ve got one groovy show!

Lead Characters

Return to the Forbidden Planet guide sections