Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The New Generation

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.

Chris Thompson was the original ‘Voice of humanity’ and was in the live shows playing the part. Again though I wondering if this will change? A new generation so maybe a whole new cast?

The other main roles have changed at every tour. Last time Rhydian was Parson Nathaniel and Liz McClarnon played Beth.

Jason Donovan took over the role of the Artillery Man. Alexis James had previously played this part in the live shows. I may be biased but I think Alexis was better.

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.


The Martians are coming to Dublin


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 ūüôā

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.

The War of the Worlds 2010

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:

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

The War of The Worlds alive on stage

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 lucky enough to be staying in the same hotel as the cast and got to meet some of them. Jeff Wayne is a lovely man and spent a long time talking to us.

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.

The War of the Worlds

‘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… 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… 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:

Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds, Dublin 2009