If you don’t want to read any spoilers from the show don’t read on I wasn’t sure about the whole New Generation thing as I am a massive fan of the original album and show. However my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to go to Dublin and see what I thought.
You’ll have to forgive the lack of photos. The O2 were being really strict about people taking photos so I just sneaked a few and they aren’t great. The show begin with ‘William and Vera’ (Michael Falzon and Lily Osborne), they had more of a speaking part than in the 2010 show although they didn’t walk into the audience this time. There was the gust of wind at the end of their part where the newspapers blew into the audience.
Liam Neeson is now George Herbert the journalist, taking over from Richard Burton. As well as the holographic head to the left of the stage (and I heard some people on the right had trouble seeing it). Liam also appears full body on a screen which comes up from the stage from time to time. So for this show he actually interacts with some of the cast. Of course he’s not Richard Burton and I found some of the narration lacking a bit, what was missing with the diction was made up for by Liam’s facial expressions. He actually acted the part where of course Richard couldn’t.
Marti Pellow played the ‘Sung thoughts of the journalist’. To be honest this was the most disappointing part of the show for me. After hearing Gary Barlow singing on the new album, (and I’m not a Gary Barlow fan), I thought Marti might be fine. I found his voice quite weak though and he just really didn’t seem to be putting much feeling into it. The leaves came down on the right side of the stage during Forever Autumn.
Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs was the artillery man and I have to say he stole the show. He really does a brilliant rendition of someone going insane. He put such energy into the part, I loved it when he ran into the audience. He did have a few problems with the high notes from Brave New World but it didn’t make any difference he was still great and got the biggest cheer of the night. He has more props than in previous shows and actually digs into the stage which looks quite realistic.
Will Stapleton was the Voice of Humanity and he was brilliant, he’s got a great powerful voice and was perfect for the role. I really want to check out his band Jettblack.
The sound for the second half was a bit distorted and I found some of the voices were drowned out by the music, especially during Spirit of Man but I was really impressed with what I did hear. Jason Donovan was excellent as Parson Nathaniel, the role suited him better than the artillery man role he played last time. Kerry Ellis as Beth was excellent, probably the best one I’ve seen. At the end of the song Beth dies and her ‘spirit’ is meant to levitate, something went wrong though so it didn’t work as planned and they had to drag the dress through the trap door in the stage.
At the end all the cast are introduced and all sing part of The Eve of the War. There was a standing ovation for the show which was well deserved. It did annoy me when people started walking out during this song, it’s very distracting for those trying to watch the show.
Michael Falzon took to the stage for the epilogue as Marvin, the NASA controller. Again this is a longer part than the 2010 show, he gets blown up in the end though…and I still have no idea how they did it.
Other parts of the show: the heatray from the fighting machine…and I screamed again!, paperboys running across the stage twice, the change in the music making it more modern, more graphics on the screen, Chris Spedding and Herbie Flowers getting their own little ‘solo’ where they get to stand on a raised stage. The martians talking more in the show. A bit at the end of Liam Neeson and Carrie talking to eachother. Liam’s hologram was on stage and Carrie’s hologram was on the left of the stage. There was loads of merchandise for sale including some great t-shirts. I did think 20 euro for a mug was way too expensive though. Also the programmes were 20 euro but if you wanted one signed by Jeff it was 40! If you met him, he’d sign it for nothing.
Things that I didn’t like…the daft woman who thought the show was about a spider! The people behind me who had no idea what the show was about. Not being able to take photos. Apart from that I loved every minute and it was over way too quickly…if you get a chance to go do. My photos are here.
We got to meet most of the cast and crew afterwards as I was staying in the same hotel. They were all so nice especially Michael Falzon who spent a good while talking to us and Jeff and his wife…but all of them were lovely. A fan asked Jeff to phone his friend….no one would have believed I’m sad it’s all over but looking forward to the next tour and fingers crossed they bring out a new DVD.