Prep Headmaster's Blog: ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’

This week has been dominated by the Year 7 and 8 production of ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ – the jukebox musical by playwright Bob Carlton based on Shakespeare’s forgotten rock and roll masterpiece!

This high energy production features a string of 1950’s and 1960’s rock and roll classics. The sci-fi setting consists of silvered space suits and a space ship set concealing keyboards, drums and guitars. The dialogue is largely adapted from well-known Shakespearian passages. Quite a challenge you may think for a prep school production! 

With this, and our universe as the context for the play, it made me think a little this week about our planet Earth. I was reminded of the book ‘Pale Blue Dot’ by the Voyager 1 astronaut Carl Sagan. He described our earth by saying ‘look at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it…. Everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena’.

Following on from this, Einstein said ‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science’. I have been transfixed this week by Sky News ‘Deep Ocean Live’ – the world’s first TV news bulletins broadcast from under the sea.

Over 3 days they have explored the world 300m below the waves of the Indian Ocean on the Aldabra, one of the Earth’s most heavily protected coral atolls. The broadcasts really have drawn attention to the plight of the world’s Oceans, as well as opening our eyes to the awe and wonder of this magical side of planet Earth – I will look to discuss this with the children next week, but urge you to take a look for yourself if you haven’t seen the coverage.


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