Carmel College, Darlington, became an alien land of flashing lights and special effects as students staged the ambitious rock and roll musical Return to the Forbidden Planet, by Bob Carlton.

Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the high octane spectacular was directed by Sally McGrath and Ryan Bray and was the culmination of months of hard work by staff and students.

Packed audiences enjoyed an intergalactic adventure to D’Illyria, the Forbidden Planet, amid a cacophony of jukebox classics.

Ms McGrath said: “As our first Carmel production, we feel immensely proud of the efforts that have gone into auditioning, rehearsing and staging such a complex and exciting show.

“The onstage cast was supported admirably by backstage, front of house and technical crew, without who such an ambitious event would not have been possible.”

Carmel Education Trust chief executive Maura Regan added: “It was an incredible performance and thanks must also go to parents, carers, family and friends for their continued support of the performing arts here at Carmel College.”

The production began on a stormy night in the winter of 2009 with mad scientist Doctor Prospero working late in his laboratory, aided only by his wife, Gloria, as he develops the elusive formula that would change the world.

Gloria dupes him into hyper-space and daughter Miranda is accidentally catapulted light years into the future in her father’s company.

Fifteen years later, a routine survey flight under the command of the chisel-jawed Captain Tempest leaves Earth’s orbit only to be pulled inexorably towards the planet D’Illyria.

Principal parts were played by Jonathan Hopkins, Peter Oliver, Charlotte Humphrey, Helen Baker, Connor Evans, Patrick Graham and Catherine Frank.