Or to give it it’s full title
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff 9th December 2018
So as you’ve probably guessed from the title this is an arena tour of the seminal album released … gulp … 40 years ago!
Now I had the … okay okay, my brother had … (but whatever was his was mine) the album 🙂 featuring the sonorous tones of the late great Richard Burton and Justin Hayward singing ‘Forever Autumn’. Now I will say this was about the total of my memories of the show when I booked. Why did I Book, well it was a show I hadn’t seen, I remember the music being atmospheric and I liked the work of one of the cast.
Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds.
Conducted by: Jeff Wayne, Featuring a 3D hologram of Liam Neeson taking on the role of ‘the Journalist’, Newton Faulkner ‘The sung thoughts of the Journalist’, Carrie Hope Fletcher ‘Beth, the parson’s wife’, Adam Garcia ‘The artilleryman’, Anna-Marie Wayne ‘Carrie, the journalists fiancée’, Jason Donovan ‘Parson Nathaniel’ and Nathan James ‘The voice of humanity’. Also featuring the 9 piece Black Smoke Band and 36 piece ULLAdubULLA strings.
Now first things first, this isn’t a musical. It is a concert setting and live performance of what was originally a studio album. So there aren’t that many songs. What it is, is spectacular. I mean it has: an OVER 30 foot Martian fighting machine, 100 foot wide screen with CGI, fire, levitation and other special effects. Oh and some great performances.
The show starts before it actually starts, with cast members popping up in the auditorium, the screen giving War of the Worlds stats, which was a good thing, as you have to arrive SO early your sat there for a while, and I must say my seat on one of the balconies was not one of the most comfortable.
Stand out moments: Forever Autumn, The Spirit of Man and The Eve of the War. Oh and the Martian Machine, that was a WOW moment!
So overall what were my thoughts: I enjoyed it, the cast were very good, Jeff Wayne conducted the spectacle very well and it was as mentioned previously visually dramatic. However it would not be one I would rush to see again and again, which in fairness is probably not the intended outcome, this being the 40th anniversary performance it was “one to see”, and I did. Oh and as much as I like Liam I think Richard Burton was better, I know why they swapped, they were able to film Liam and make the performance more interactive, but you can’t beat the Welsh pipes of Richard B.