THE WAR OF THE WORLDS : WITH SPECTACULAR HUGE PANORAMIC SCREENS SHOWING CUTTING EDGE CGI CONTENT,INTERACTIVE HOLOGRAM AND LIVE STREAMING.
The War Of The Worlds at the Bournemouth centre taken from Kazhawkins.com
Jeff Wayne is well known for his iconic 1978 music version of The War Of The worlds and loyal fans are well aware of how amazing the shows are too. So first-timers are always guaranteed a memorable experience.
The show is on its 16th year of touring and this had me wondering what to expect; how would it compare to the album? Would it be true to the original HG Wells book of 1898? Would the show be set in a different era to the book? At its recent two-night performance in Bournemouth, I didn’t have to wait long to find out the answers.
The performance seizes your senses
In a word, mind-blowing! I can’t remember the last time I went to a stage show where all my senses have been seized so intensely – and right from the very beginning. I knew at that point that this was going to be an unforgettable experience which would remain with me a long time after show had ended.
This year “The Life Begins Again Tour”, is the name given for this tour which seemed significant this year as Britain and the world emerge from the recent world pandemic.
Cutting edge CGI content
With the use of cutting edge CGI (computer generated imagery) content is displayed on three huge panoramic screens making for a spectacular stage set up including the clever use of an interactive holographic figure giving the audience a whole new dimension.
The Victorian era
Having read the original book of HG Wells I was pleased to see how the show starts with an image of Mr Wells explaining how the book came to be. The audience were guided through the intensity of the story with detailed descriptions of the victorian era that the story is set in. Panoramic screens visualise what Wells is saying as he talks to the audience, showing more peaceful times and setting the scene – before the arrival of the Martians.
The stage production is so well thought through with much attention to detail. Act one goes to great lengths to draw the audience into the story and comes to an end with Justin Hayward singing a slightly different arrangement of his 1978 hit ‘Forever Autumn’, as around the auditorium thousands of leaves are seen falling in and around the audience.
The second act has much more story and we meet one of the main characters who gives us an immersive account of the story of ‘Thunder Child’– the paddle-steamer which helped in the escape of Carrie and her father, as they and countless others escaped to the safety of countries away from England. During their escape there is the realisation that they are leaving countless millions behind to the terror of the Martians.
The voice of Humanity played by Nathan James is introduced in Act two. He’s a larger than life character and a commanding presence on stage.
As the show ends all too soon with a full cast performance of ‘Life Begins Again’, the thunderous applause rang out, bringing me back down to reality with a jolt – it was only at that point that my mind started to really appreciate what I’d just experienced.
This is and faithful portrayal of the book and offers an experience of witnessing the greatness of a book come to life. This is a must see!
Reviewed by Brian Case, March 2022