Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds
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Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War of The Worlds - The Final Arena Tour will feature Jason Donovan, Shayne Ward, Westlife’s Brian McFadden, X Factor's Joseph Whelan, Les Miserables' Carrie Hope Fletcher, and introducing Callum O'Neill as HG Wells.
One of the most groundbreaking productions of all time, The War of The Worlds is making its sixth and final tour of UK arenas and will open with its first show in Sheffield at the Motorpoint Arena on Thursday 27 November 2014.
Jeff Wayne will again be on the Podium to conduct the 9-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings. Liam Neeson’s 3D holographic performance as The Journalist will also return but with enhanced technology. Jason Donovan is reprising his hugely popular role as Parson Nathaniel. Former X Factor winner, Shayne Ward will be performing the role of The Artilleryman. The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist will be performed by Brian McFadden. X Factor's Joseph Whelan will appear as The Voice of Humanity 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.
Adding a new dimension and marking a spectacular finale, HG Wells, the author of The War of The Worlds, played by Scottish actor Callum O’Neill, will be brought to life, live on stage, in three riveting scenes within the show – aged 33, 53 and 79.
The production will be the sixth UK tour in eight years.
Jeff Wayne said: “Bringing The War of The Worlds to life in many of the world’s finest arenas has been the most amazing experience for me over the last seven years. We’ve achieved more than we ever thought was possible both musically and technologically. However, the time is right to take The War of The Worlds in new directions after the 2014 tour. I am so very appreciative of the fantastic support over the years from so many established fans as well as numerous new ones we’ve attracted. Thank you all sincerely."
Shayne Ward commented: "I’m so excited to be taking on the role of the Artilleryman for the amazing tour of Jeff Wayne's classic, The War of The Worlds. So many huge artists have been involved in the show and I am really honoured to be part of this last ever UK arena tour! As I enter a new phase of my career it’s so exciting to be taking on such a huge challenge! The War of the Worlds is truly epic, both musically and in terms of production. The show is mind-blowing on so many levels and I look forward to working with Jeff and the rest of the cast."
Westlife Star Brian McFadden is excited about being involved in the show. He commented: “I’ve long been a fan of The War of The Worlds and am so excited to be involved in the tour. It’s a true honour to be involved in this electrifying show and to be joining such an exciting cast, including singing the thoughts of The Journalist, who is played by one of my Irish heroes, Liam Neeson. It’s also a thrill to be performing the two international Hit Singles “The Eve of The War” and “Forever Autumn”. I can’t wait for the tour to start – it’s going to be incredible!”
Jason Donovan said he was delighted to be reprising his role as Parson Nathaniel having played it last year: “The War of The Worlds is a classic. This production is on a scale like nothing I have ever done before – the effects are breath-taking both in front and behind the stage! It’s also one of the most enjoyable, most exciting and most memorable musical productions of all time. It’s a true honour to be returning for the third time, especially as this is the final Arena tour.”
Les Miserables star Carrie Hope Fletcher, who also has a significant YouTube following, and whose brother, Tom Fletcher, is McFly’s guitarist, said: “I’m delighted to have been cast as Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s wife: I genuinely can’t wait to get started. My family and I grew up listening to the album and now I’m going to be a part of it. My character levitates and disappears into thin air in full view of the audience, so that’s rather exciting too!”
The show, which is mixed live in Surround Sound, features remarkable special effects, including the incredible 3-tonne 35-foot tall Martian Fighting Machine firing real flames into the Arena, a 100 foot wide “animation wall” with two hours of cutting edge CGI, the incineration of a cast member in front of the audience’s eyes, leaf drops over the audience, a ground-breaking levitation effect plus the debut of the first new song since Jeff’s original recording was released, and much, much more.
Jeff Wayne's double album was originally released by CBS Records in 1978. It has enjoyed huge success and critical acclaim across the globe with over 15 million records sold and spending over 330 weeks in the UK Album Charts (to date) plus achieving two International hit singles, Forever Autumn and The Eve of The War. It has been No.1 in 11 countries around the world and Top 10 in 22.
The War of The Worlds has also won two prestigious UK Ivor Novello Awards, the US Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy (the judges included Alfred Hitchcock, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg), as well as winning for Jeff, Classic Rock's Showman of The Year Award. It has grown into a true classic, acquiring new generations of devoted followers since its original release.