Out Of This World Fun As Forbidden Planet Musical Comes To Cardiff - Mark Newnham Interview


The adored and critically acclaimed Olivier Award winning Sci-Fi rock spectacular Return to the Forbidden Planet comes to Cardiff New Theatre on its 25th Anniversary Tour this week.

Inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest and packed with rock 'n' roll classics such as I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Young Girl and Good Vibrations the show features stunning special effects and a brilliant cast of actor musicians.

"Its fun, lively and it'll make you laugh" says Mark Newnham who plays Cookie in the show, "If you're a fan of rock'n'roll you’ll just go absolutely nuts for the music and great Sci-Fi effects as well, it’s a great night out."

Mark describes his character as a "love-lorn low status character" that has parallels with Cinderella's Buttons. "He falls in love with Miranda who is the love interest when we crash-land on Prospero's planet," he says, "She doesn’t love him back and falls in love with the Captain of the ship, the character gets a lot of empathy from the audience."

Mark who is an accomplished musician will be performing a rendition of a 60s classic in the show. "My big number is She Not There by The Zombies. We put a little twist on it because this is the point in the story when Cookie realises Miranda has fallen for the captain and not him. He does this anxious version which has a big four minute long guitar solo in it."

Mark who also played a Young John Lennon in the musical Lennon at Liverpool's Royal Court is a big 1960s fan and is currently relishing his role in the musical, "To play guitar, sing, make people laugh and speak some wonderful Shakespeare verse - it’s a dream job!"

  • Return to the Forbidden Planet runs at Cardiff's New Theatre between Monday April 20 - 25. Visit newtheatrecardiff.co.uk for details.
  • A version of this article by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on April 17, 2015. Read the e-edition here.

On Stage: Return To The Forbidden Planet, New Theatre, Cardiff

Meet Nina Jones