Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds

The soundtrack of my childhood was on at the O2 last night and it was awesome!
A 30 piece orchestra and 10 piece band conducted by Jeff Wayne himself.  His conducting style included changing clothes during the intermission and dancing a lot.  2 members of the original cast (Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and Chris Thompson) reprised their roles aided by a fantastic Jason Donovan as the Artillaryman, Rhydian Roberts (of X Factor fame) as Parson Nathaniel - the role originally played by Phil Lynott  - and one of the Atomic Kitten ladies (Liz McClarnon) as his wife.  There was a cool giant tripod martian model which did impressively bright pyrotechnics.  And of course, the Richard Burton hologram....even though he's dead and was never filmed doing the narration, they got an actor who facially resembled him to speak the words, filmed him and superimposed Burton's face over it.  It's nowhere near as lame as it sounds.  They had a video screen behind with a large cast and lots of nice animation.  The Martians really reminded me of Cthulhu.

The real star of course is the iconic music, which I personally think might have redeemed that awful 2005 Tom Cruise film...they should have paid Jeff Wayne any money he wanted to use it.  Hopefully the tour will make a return visit next year and I would be quite happy to see it again.


  1. Seconded!

    It was a fantastic evening: a wonderful performance of the music, and the CGI background and the sets added to the theatre of it without distracting from the sound. I'll be there again if/when they come back.

  2. It was fantastic show and for me Rhydian Roberts has stolen the evening.
    His performance - acting and singing,was amazing, giving the new depth to the role of Parson.
    I was a bit sceptical, because I've never heard for him, my friend who was with me at the Show, told me he was at X Factor few years ago. I wonder if he is not too good for the show like X Factor!