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Tour 2009 UK & Europe: Cast

The Cast

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Richard Burton

George Herbert, The Journalist

Richard Burton was an international star of the stage, motion pictures and the spoken word. As a player upon the major stages of Great Britain, Canada and the United States, his voice and visage was universally known.

He was one of the rare actors whose professional accomplishments met the challenge of classic stage literature including roles, which grow and mature throughout an actor’s lifetime.

The consummate actor began life as the son of a coal miner in Pontrhydyfen (pronounced Pontradeven), South Wales.

Over the years, Mr Burton gathered seven Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in such diverse motion pictures as Becket, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Anne Of A Thousand Days and Equus.

The 47 motion pictures that he made include Alexander The Great, Circle Of Two, The Night Of The Iguana, The Taming Of The Shrew, Where Eagles Dare, Under Milk Wood, Tristan And Iseult, The Wild Geese, and his last, 1984. His most popular recordings were Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, The Love Poems Of John Donne, The Poetry Of Thomas Hardy, The Little Prince, A Personal Anthology, Shakespeare’s The Rape Of Lucrece, all of Dylan Thomas’s works, and Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds.

A Commander of the British Empire, he was also a Don and Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University. Richard Burton was married to former Freelance Production Assistant, Sally Anne Hay when he passed away on 5th August 1984 at his home in Celigny, Switzerland.

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Jennifer Ellison

Beth, Parson Nathaniel's Wife

Jennifer Ellison’s career so far has given only a tiny glimpse of her immense talents. She can act. She can dance. She can sing. She looks great and she oozes a unique star quality.

At just 14, Jennifer took the leading role of Emily Shadwick in the soap Brookside. Emily's loves, losses, heartbreaks and mischiefs captivated the nation. She was such a hit with viewers that she stayed in the show for five years. Following Brookside, Jennifer went on to release her debut single, a cover of Transvision Vamp's 1989 pop rock classic 'Baby I Don't Care'. A year later, on July 26, 2004, a second single came out, and “Bye Bye Boy” reached the UK Top Ten.

Jennifer’s West End stage debut came in the demanding role of Roxie Hart in the award-winning musical Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre. It was the perfect showcase for her singing, acting and dancing abilities.

Christmas 2004 saw her first film role in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. She played the ballerina Meg Giry alongside an international cast including Minnie Driver and Gerard Butler, directed by the highly-respected Joel Schumacher.

Jennifer’s acting skills came to the fore once again in the ITV court-room drama The Brief, in which she undertook the demanding role of a young nurse accused of murdering a patient. Her role received wide acclaim from viewers and in Press reviews. In early 2008 she had her first lead role in the British film ‘The Cottage’.

Jennifer was on prime-time TV again this winter in ITV drama ‘The Commander’. Along with other top names in entertainment, she was also performing live this Christmas in the Liverpool City of Culture’s Pantomime.

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Justin Hayward

The Sung Thoughts Of The Journalist

No one who has ever seen or heard Justin Hayward singing in front of those vast audiences who attend The Moody Blues
concerts will have forgotten the plaintive, soaring quality of his voice or the crystal clear guitar solos.

Justin is the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for The Moody Blues in an era that has spanned 40 years and sales of fifty five million albums.

He wrote their two-million seller, Nights In White Satin, and earned the group an unprecedented succession of platinum, gold and silver records, as well as numerous awards for compositions such as Question, Tuesday Afternoon, The Voice, Blue Guitar, Your Wildest Dreams and I Know You're Out There Somewhere.

In 1974 Justin received the first of a number of ASCAP awards for his work as a songwriter, and it is these awards that he treasures most, for they represent recognition from his peers. He was recently awarded the Gold Badge Award from The British Academy Of Songwriters.

With his beautiful melodies, unique guitar phrases and a kaleidoscope of musical styles and textures, Justin Hayward maintains a flourishing solo career with albums such as Songwriter, Blue Jays, Nightflight produced by Jeff Wayne, Classic Blue, Moving Mountains, The View From The Hill, and a CD & DVD of Live at San Juan Capistrano which includes a solo performance of Forever Autumn. Also, he has recently released An Audience with Justin Hayward at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame DVD.

Both with The Moody Blues and in his own solo career, Justin has built a reputation as one of the finest vocalists and composers in the music world today.

In 2009, as well as touring with The War of The Worlds, Justin will be on the road in the United States and Europe with the Moody Blues.

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Alexis James

The Artilleryman

Alexis performed the role of The Artilleryman in the first Tour of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds in 2006. He then went on to reprise his role in the 2007 UK Tour.

His West End debut was playing the Narrator Gringoire in Notre Dame De Paris as part of the original cast at the Dominion Theatre. He then created the role of Tybalt in Don Black’s Romeo and Juliet The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre. His trio of French musicals was completed by appearing in Les Miserables understudying and playing the Student Leader Enjolras, including the final performance at the Palace Theatre and the rebirth, under John Cairds direction, at the Other theatre credits include: Broken Journey, Viva Ibiza, Romancing, Walk With The Angels, A Life in the Daze of Stanley Bishop and A Generation Arises.

As well as being a successful actor/singer, Alexis runs his own private jet charter company for the music and movie industry. Alexis can be seen playing the Artilleryman on the 2006 live release of The War of The Worlds Live on Stage! Wembley Arena DVD.

For more information please visit www.myspace.com/lexjames

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Shannon Noll

Parson Nathaniel

In less than five years Australian-born singer-songwriter Shannon Noll has become a multi-platinum selling rock star, and is already dubbed an icon. It’s not hard to see why. Over the course of three albums, Shannon has re-written Australian chart history, notching up 10 singles on the ARIA charts, including five ARIA no.1 chart awards. In addition to walking off with the MTV VMA award for Best Male Artist three years running, beating the likes of Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake, Shannon was also voted his home country’s Favourite Australian at Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

After coming runner up in the first season of Australian Idol, like most post-idol contestants, Shannon struggled to be taken seriously as a musician. But critics soon fell silent as his popularity grew and he continued to top the charts.

Shannon’s debut album ‘That’s What I’m Talking About’ went five times platinum and was a fixture on the top 100 albums chart for almost a year. In fact, the combined success of all three albums has made him a platinum selling artist 11 times over.

Shannon will be reprising his role as Parson Nathaniel, the character he played for the Australian run last year.

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Chris Thompson

The Voice Of Humanity

In 1975 Chris joined Manfred Mann’s Earthband and was with them until 1986, rejoining 1991-1999. During that time he enjoyed a number of hit singles, including Blinded by the Light and Davy’s on the Road Again, the former being a number one around the world; and albums The Roaring Silence (1976), Watch (1978), Angel Station (1979), Chance (1980), Somewhere in Africa (1982), Live In Budapest (1983) and Criminal Tango (1986). Soft Vengeance (1996) and Mann Alive (1998).

In 1979 Chris formed his own band Night, which released two albums, Night (1979) and Long Distance (1981) and produced two top twenty hits Hot Summer Night and If you Remember Me. These albums have been re-released worldwide on one CD by Renaissance Records.

In 1989 Chris wrote and performed the official championship song of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, The Challenge, which reached number one in Germany. In 1994 he sang the theme from the successful German TV series Florida Lady. This series also gave birth to a brand new recording of Blinded by the Light. Chris toured extensively with MMEB 1975 to 1999 and Night 1979 to 1983. After 1986 Chris recorded and toured under his own name and with Alan Parsons. Chris also worked with Queen and other Artists on The Freddie Mercury tribute concert, April 1992 and the 46664 Nelson Mandela Aids benefit concert in Capetown, November 2003.

Over the years Chris has contributed songs and or vocals to such artists as Tina Turner, Elton John, Queen, Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey, Brian May, Ozzy Osbourne, Britney Spears, Alan Parsons, Ray Charles, Def Leppard, Toto, Michael McDonald, The Doobie Brothers, John Farnham (co-writing the worldwide number one song You’re the Voice) and many more.

For the last four years Chris has been working on a Multi Media / Musical project entitled Rediscovery (the story, written by Chris, is set in New Zealand), due to be released in 2010. This work has inspired an educational project – a Multi Media program, at the cutting edge of the new high school curriculum in Norway and Belgium. Chris recently recorded a duet with Sarah Brightman for her upcoming Best Of project for America and Japan. Chris continues to perform extensively in Europe and America. Current information is available on his website.

www.christhompson-central.com

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Anna-Marie Wayne

Carrie, The Journalist's Fiancée

Anna-Marie started acting in her young teens, guest starring in the hit TV comedies "The Upper Hand", alongside Honor Blackman, and “Mr Bean”, with Rowan Atkinson. She went on to train for 3 years at the one of the UK's leading drama schools, Guildford School of Acting and, upon graduation, created the lead role of Elisa in Solitary Confinement at London's West End theatre, ICA The Mall, alongside Adam Garcia.  

She has worked (with drama and comedy performances) in practically every medium since - TV, Film, Stage, Radio and Commercials.

Having recently relocated to LA, her recent film work includes a lead role in “Disappearing In America” starring Mark Pellegrino, a lead role in the horror / thriller feature film “Spike”, as well as a lead role in the dark thriller "Number One Longing, Number Two Regret", alongside Jenny Agutter.

Her UK stage work has included playing the lead role of Laly in “Best Friends” (New End Theatre as well as Edinburgh Festival where it was a fringe first nominee), Roberta in “The Railway Children” (King’s Head Theatre), and lead roles in “Slow Train To Izmir” (Southwark Playhouse), “The Rival Queens” (Union Theatre), “The Little Tragedies” (Total Studios), “The Passing Out Parade” (Etcetera Theatre) and “The Crucible” (Electric Theatre).

Anna-Marie has also performed in many short films including “Undone” which she also wrote and produced, “The Antagonist” for producer Share Stallings and "Who Flew Over What?" for Tonic Films (the producers of CABIN FEVER).

She is part of the cast of her father Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of “The War of The Worlds - Alive On Stage!” playing The Journalist’s fiancée, Carrie, a filmed role which was relayed on screens opposite a virtual performance by Richard Burton. The production, which has now played to sell-out audiences across the UK, Australia and New Zealand features 3 generations of the Wayne family – Anna-Marie, Jeff, and Jeff’s father, actor/singer Jerry Wayne, who performed all the voices on the NASA Epilogue on the original double album.

www.annamariewayne.com.

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