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.