Following a triumphant UK and European arena tour in 2012, Live Nation and SJM Concerts, are delighted to announce that one of the most ground-breaking tours of all time, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds is to return for the sixth and final time in 2014. It’s a real shame it’s the last tour. I’ve been to see three different tours and loved each one (apart from Marti Pellow’s performance last year, as I thought he was rubbish). I’m not sure what to think about Brian McFadden, after hearing Gary Barlow singing that part on the album it’s a shame it’s not going to be him. Of course there are always people who think the part only belongs to Justin Hayward and after seeing Marti murder it I’m inclined to agree but I’m hoping to go to the Dublin show next year and see what I think.
The show will again feature Jeff Wayne returning to the Podium to conduct the 9-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings with the final two musical Guest Artistes to be announced.
Liam Neeson’s 3D holographic performance as The Journalist will also return but with enhanced technology.
The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist will be performed by Brian McFadden, Jason Donovan is reprising his hugely popular role as Parson Nathaniel and Carrie Hope Fletcher featuring as Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s Wife, direct from her current and widely acclaimed West End performance in Les Miserables, as Eponine. There are still some cast members to be announced so I’m interested to know who they will be.
Last night was the opening night of the Fun Company Sligo’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Hawk’s Well Theatre. I was delighted to go along and take some photos for my blog…ahead of my ‘proper’ trip to see the show later this week.
The show was amazing, there was a live orchestra providing the music, they and the cast were outstanding. I’m always delighted to see such talented people in Sligo. I loved every minute of it and recommend anyone to go and see it. It runs until Sunday.
As usual I took way too many photos. My thanks again to Canon Ireland for lending me the 100D which is a great camera, I’m very pleased with the results. You can see the rest of my photos here.
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds Facebook page released a sound clip of the ‘new generation’ Thunder Child today. It features Liam Neeson as the narrator and Alex Clare as the ‘voice of humanity’.
Let me know what you think. Oh and by the way if anyone has a spare ticket for the show in Dublin….please send it my way. I’d love to go Here are my photos from last time.
It was announced at a press conference in London on Friday that there will be a ‘new generation’ of Jeff Wayne’s wonderful musical version of The War of the Worlds. Liam Neeson will take over Richard Burtons role as George Herbert the journalist.
There will be a new double album released in June 2012. The other parts have not yet been announced. Justin Hayward has been the sung thoughts of the journalist since the original album, but I wondering now with Liam Neeson playing the Richard Burton role if he will also sing?….I’ve no idea if Liam Neeson can sing.
The other main roles have changed at every tour. Last time Rhydian was Parson Nathaniel and Liz McClarnon played Beth.
Liam Neeson will be seen as a full body 3D holograph and it does say on the site he will be leading a new cast…so I’m kind or guessing there will be no Justin or Chris. I will continue to watch the website for further updates. The main page of news is here.
The tour kicks off on November 29th, 2012 in Dublin. There is no mention of a date in Belfast. The tour then starts in the UK on December 1st, 2012. I’m really hoping there won’t be the same travel chaos as there was last year due to the snow. You can see the link to the tour dates here. Tickets go on sale on 21/11/11
Some of the press conference is here:
Update: On March 1st it was announced that Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs will play the part of the Artillery Man and Kerry Ellis from the stage show Wicked will play Beth on the tour and also the new album.
Well after a year of waiting (because it was a year ago that the tickets went on sale). The big day finally arrived.
We braved the snow and headed up to Dublin. The show has changed since we saw it last year. There is now a ‘prequel’ starring ‘Vera and William’ (Lily Osbourne and Michael Falzon) who wander around as the audience are taking their seats. They are looking at a map and looking through a telescope towards the sky. Suddenly the lights flash and the wind blows…..which blew leaves and newspapers onto us as we were in the front row.
Then the music begins. There were changes to the cast this year. Justin Hayward returned as the sung thoughts of the journalist and didn’t disappoint. His voice is as strong and melodic as always and Forever Autumn is especially haunting when the leaves start to fall onto us and he is searching for his love Carrie.
The Voice Of Humanity (Chris Thompson) – appears during the battle of Thunder Child with the Martian tripods depicted and sung. The steamer is packed with people trying to flee the Martian invasion. In spite of all on board, including Carrie, reaching the shore safely, the war is lost as the Thunder Child sinks forever and the Earth belongs to the Martians. I felt Chris wasn’t as vocally strong as he was last year which was a shame.
George Herbert, The Journalist (Richard Burton) – the main narrator of the story, who is in his late thirties. He is a character with a strong grip on reality, though his reality becomes one he never thought possible due to the arrival of the Martians. As Richard Burton is no longer with us his head is now a talking hologram, it’s very clever.
The new cast members are: Liz McClarnon who plays Beth the parsons wife, Rhydian Roberts who is Parson Nathaniel and Jason Donovan who is the Artillery Man.
They were all brilliant. I especially enjoyed Rhydian and Liz’s performances. They put their heart and souls into it. Rhydian sounds very similar to Russell Watson who played the part in 2006. Liz looked so distressed as she was singing, like she met every word. The only think I would have changed was Rhydians wig, it did look like a wig. It might have been better if he was to dye his hair for the show.
Jason was also very good except his accent was changing to his normal accent quite a bit and as the Artillery Man is meant to be cockney he sounded a bit odd with an Australian accent. I personally think Alexis James is the perfect artillery man. It’s also very hard to get the Iceland adverts out of my head as I was watching Jason.
The 30 foot martian fighting machine shoots out real heatrays. We could feel the heat where we were and luckily we still have our eyebrows! I screamed like a girl when the flares went off!
There was also a new part of the show when a man from NASA takes to the stage at the end of the show and notices something not quite right…..are the martians returning???? Then he gets blown to bits! It’s very clever and I’ve no idea how they did it.
Of course the man himself needs a special mention and that is Jeff Wayne, he composed this fantastic show. Along with the orchestra and The Black Smoke band the whole thing comes alive. Sitting so close to the stage we actually felt like we had been invaded by Martians.
We were so lucky to be staying in the same hotel as the cast of the show. So we were able to meet most of them. Herbie Flowers who plays the bass in the band is a really lovely man, we were delighted to meet him. We also met Liz, Jason, Jeff, Rhydian, Chris and some of the band members.
This is such an amazing show if you do get a chance to see it do go along. It’s a night you will never forget. The rest of my photos are here.
It’s only a week to go until Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War of the Worlds will be live at the O2 in Dublin. I’m really looking forward to it. We saw it last year and it was a great show, although we were a mile away from the stage, this time we have got front row seats
I’m still not sure about Jason Donovan playing the Artillery man as Alexis James did such a good job, but we’ll see.
There is a great article about the show here if you want to have a read. There are also more photo’s on it. Andy has decided he’s not coming to see the show this time so I have a front row ticket for sale if anyone is interested.
Just to get you in the mood for the show. Here is the tv advert:
Also here is a small clip of Rhydians audition for the Parson. I think he sounds brilliant.
Many of you will know that I’m a big fan of Jeff Wayne’s musical version of the War of the Worlds. For those of you in the UK who are thinking of going to see it, there is an offer on for this week for children under 14 to get half price tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/promo/pd3rjk
We went to see it in June last year at the O2 in Dublin and were lucky enough to meet some of the cast. We really enjoyed the show. Although I do think Russell Watson was a better Parson then Shannon Noll.
Alexis James was the Artillery Man and he did an amazing job, even (dare I say it), better then David Essex on the original album. So this year I’m am totally gobsmacked that he didn’t get the role again and it was instead given to Jason Donovan. I don’t get the logic behind it. Surely if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I can’t imagine anyone doing near as good a job as Alexis did.
The other roles (except Justin Hayward, Chris Thompson and of course Richard Burton), have always been changed but Alexis was always the artillery man in the European live shows.
Anyway onto the other cast. Liz McClarnon is playing Beth the parson’s wife and I think she’ll do a good job. Then in March Rhydian (X Factor) was announced as the Parson. First of all I wasn’t impressed but thinking about it he has a similar voice to Russell Watson so I think that will work.
Here is what someone on the War of the Worlds forum had to say:
WOW what a cast list, and who said that Vaudeville was dead?.The way thing’s are going, I would say this show look’s like it is trying to ease it’s way into the West End.
Then again maybe the tour’s are timed to coincide with the Panto season, oh no they are’nt, oh yes they are, and perhap’s next year they could get Tony Christie to play the parson.
And the year after that they could shove the boat right out of sight by asking the public to enter a competition were one lucky bugger (PROBABLY RELATED TO THE PRODUCER) would be fairly voted in to acutally be a star in the show, Xfactor stylee, only this time it would be different. I can see it now, Jeff Waynes World’s musical version of The War of The World’s Christmas spectacular On Ice, with Frank Bruno and the chuckle brothers and special guest’s The Krankies. Of course Richard Burton’s head will be replaced in the narrator’s role by the chrome dome of Harry Hill. you see thing is I like Martians and then again I like Earthlings, but which is better? There’s only one way to find out…….. Fiiiiiight
Our household are massive fans of Jeff Waynes musical version of The War of The Worlds.
We got to see the live show at the O2 in Dublin in June and to our delight the show is returning again in November 2010.
Today the tickets were on pre-sale to the fans and I am trying to buy them….but failing. Either because we weren’t given a password or the ticketmaster site isn’t working. Anyway I will keep trying.
We were disappointed to hear that Alexis James is no longer the artillery man, he was fantastic in the role and really made it his own. This time Jason Donovan will be playing the part. He certainly looks the part anyway. My mother in law loved Jason, she had all his records.
Liz McClarnon is taking the part of Beth. Beth has been played by several different ladies including Jennifer Ellison (who we also met in June), Sinead Quinn and Tara Blaise. Liz has a lovely voice so should be well suited to the part.
Sorry for the small photos, I couldn’t work out the right way to insert them into the post. The full size ones are on PicApp.
Justin Hayward is returning in his role as the 'sung thoughts of the journalist'. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced.
Hopefully I'll get to book tickets soon! For more info have a look at the official site
Just an update. I finally got the password and have booked our tickets so very pleased about that. I also saw this video on youtube, thanks to Artilleryman2009 for letting me post it.
‘No one would have believed’, (sorry couldn’t resist), what a fantastic weekend we had in Dublin. Before you read on if you don’t want to know what happens in the show then stop reading because I don’t want to spoil it for you.
We got the train up to Dublin on Saturday and I booked the Clarion Hotel which is the nearest hotel to the O2…I was kind of hoping and wishing that the cast might be staying in the same hotel….and they were!!
Anyway the hotel was nice enough, nothing too special and it’s a four star so I sort of thought it might have been nicer, but there was a pool and the beds were nice and comfortable, the staff were excellent, very friendly and helpful.
We got drenched on Saturday as it was lashing rain and we got lost somewhere around the Merrion Square and had to ask the doorman at the Merrion Hotel for directions to Stephens Green. After we had a look around we headed back to the hotel where Jono and I decided to do some (stalking) looking for celebrities.
We walked through the hotel and I was convinced I saw Jeff Wayne having dinner. So we all trooped down to reception and waited patiently until he’d finished. Then we got to meet him and what a lovely, lovely man. He spent about twenty minutes talking to us and was happy to let me take photos. He is so down to earth and friendly.
The next day Andy and Jono headed off to Dundrum shopping centre. Lucy and I spent the day in the hotel chilling and making the most of the leisure centre. We saw Jeff Wayne again and he stopped for a brief chat. Then a bus pulled up with some of the band on it and also Alexis James who plays the Artillery Man. We got to meet him and had our photos taken with him.
After our swim we were having lunch in the hotel and who should be opposite us but no other then Justin Hayward so again the camera came out! I was surprised how tall he was.
When Andy and Jono came back from Dundrum (which they enjoyed especially the sushi bar), we headed to the O2. I’ve never been there before so it was all an experience, couldn’t believe how many people were going. Our seats were pretty rubbish….21 rows up, although some poor people were right at the back and I don’t know if they got to see anything. It was difficult where we were to see some of the screen at the back.
The show started about 10 minutes late. It was really exciting. We were a bit surprised when Justin didn’t come out to sing his bit at the beginning, but since found out there was a problem with his monitor so he couldn’t hear. Some of the sound was a bit muffled but as it was the first night I’d say it was teething problems.
Richard Burton was done differently to last time. It wasn’t a 3D head, this time his head was on a polythene sheet. I thought it was better as he had much more facial expressions and was able to ‘look’ at the screen and actors instead of just looking straight ahead.
Alexis James was fantastic as the Artillery Man, he has so much energy, even leapt off the stage and ran around the audience….amazing.
Chris Thompson was brilliant too singing Thunder Child, we were just sorry we didn’t get to meet him.
Justin Hayward sang Forever Autumn with such emotion and during the song paper leaves came down from the ceiling….which was a lovely effect….I managed to get some during the interval.
Jennifer Ellison was lovely as Beth, she has a great voice. At the end of Spirit of Man she is in a white gown and it’s really clever because the gown goes up as if to heaven (she goes down through a trap door). Shannon Noll was Parson Nathaniel he was good but personally I would have like to see Russell Watson again, as he played the part on the dvd we have and I thought he was great.
The lightshow and musicians were amazing. There were some small fireworks as well, which all added to the brilliant atmosphere.
At the end of the show all the cast came back on stage and sang together which was great. The crowd all stood up and cheered…..it was brilliant. The only thing I’m sad about is that I can’t go back and see it again.
The following day I was waiting for the lift at the hotel and as the door opened Jennifer Ellison was standing in the lift with a towel wrapped around her waiting to go to the pool. She was lovely, so friendly. We got talking to her as she was leaving the hotel and she said her illusion went wrong. The gown got caught in the trapdoor…..to be honest I didn’t really notice. We got to take her photo too and she signed Jono’s ticket as did Alexis and Justin.
As they were leaving the hotel Alexis waved to us and as the bus pulled away Jennifer was waving.
So all in all it was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.
There are more photos if anyone wants to see them here: