Official Press Release
MUSICAL VERSION OF
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
THE FINAL ARENA TOUR!
SHAYNE WARD COMPLETES ALL-STAR CAST
3 DATES ADDED TO MEET 'PHENOMENAL DEMAND'
Dazzling...I felt a shiver of excitement
Thoroughly entertaining. Truly Impressive
Who could ask for more
a veritable feast of live stage and musical brilliance
Wayne's music has never sounded more commanding
Former X Factor winner Shayne Ward will join the cast of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds – Alive on Stage! for the sixth and final UK arena tour.
His debut X Factor single was the third-fastest selling of all time, he then starred in Dancing on Ice and is now taking his music in a new direction returning to the recording studio and working on a new album. The tour marks a return to musical theatre for Shayne after his celebrated West End debut in Rock Of Ages.
Following a triumphant UK and European arena tour in 2012, Live Nation and SJM Concerts, are delighted to announce that one of the most ground-breaking arena tours of all time, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – Alive on Stage! is to return for the sixth and final time in 2014. Tickets for existing dates are on sale now via thewaroftheworlds.com/tickets or at www.livenation.co.uk priced from £38.50.
The show will again feature a stellar cast with Jeff Wayne returning to the podium to conduct the 9-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings.
Shayne Ward has been confirmed as the final cast member and will play the Artilleryman alongside X Factor's Joseph Whelan who performs the role of The Voice of Humanity, Westlife's Brian McFadden as The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist, Jason Donovan who reprises his role as Parson Nathaniel and Carrie Hope Fletcher who plays Beth, Parson Nathaniel's Wife, direct from her highly acclaimed West End performance as Eponine in Les Miserables. Liam Neeson's spell-binding 3D holographic performance as The Journalist also returns with enhanced technology.
Shayne, who excelled in Rock of Ages for his portrayal of Stacee Jaxx, is thrilled to be a part of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds – Alive on Stage!
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.
Jason Donovan said he was delighted to be reprising his role as Parson Nathaniel having played it last year. He said:
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! Â 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.
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!
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!
Joseph Whelan, after wowing audiences on X Factor 2013, and who will now be performing the role of The Voice of Humanity, said:
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that X Factor would bring me to the attention of the legendary Jeff Wayne! To be cast in Jeff's classic, The War of The Worlds is totally amazing! And it is particularly special to be part of the final ever arena tour! As a huge fan of The War of the Worlds this is a dream come true for me. Jeff Wayne is an absolute rock legend and it is a true honour to be working alongside him! The production is technologically mind-blowing and this is a completely new experience for me. I'm so excited to be involved. I can't wait to get on the road!
The new live production will once again include:
- Liam Neeson's performance in 3D holography sees him as an 11-foot high 'head and shoulders' as The Journalist recounting in 1904 his story of survival from the Martian invasion of Victorian England of six years earlier. However Liam's performance will be seen with new technological advancements.
- Liam Neeson will also seen in full body on stage interacting with the show's live performers. A triumph of technology and a remarkable performance by Liam.
- A 100-foot wide 'Animation Wall'.
- The iconic 3-tonne, 35-foot tall Martian Fighting Machine firing real flame Heat Rays at the audience and scanning them with its bug-like eyes, as it 'lands' on centre stage.
- Special effects and illusions including a world first 'levitation' and the Martian Fighting Machine's 'incineration' of a cast member.
- Leaf drops over the audience and surround sound that engulfs them, contributing to the all-encompassing experience that is The War of The Worlds.
The tour announcement follows the DVD and Blu-ray released on Monday 25 November 2013 of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds, The New Generation. Filmed at a sold-out London O2 Arena, it features Liam Neeson as George Herbert The Journalist in 3D holography and an all-star cast including Marti Pellow as The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist, Jason Donovan as Parson Nathaniel, Wicked's Kerry Ellis as his wife Beth, Kaiser Chiefs' front-man Ricky Wilson as The Artilleryman and Jettblack's Will Stapleton.
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 Number 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.
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worldshas grown into a true classic, acquiring new generations of devoted followers since its original release.
See the full list of Tour dates