Official Press Release
JEFF WAYNE'S MUSICAL VERSION OF
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS...
THE NEW GENERATION!
Based on HG Wells' Classic Science Fiction Story
The Dazzling, Groundbreaking Arena Production
Launches a New Era
Starring LIAM NEESON in 3D Holography,
as George Herbert, The Journalist
New Double Album Coming June 2012
What the Critics said:
"Dazzling...I felt a shiver of excitement"
"Mind- Melting, Multi-Media Extravaganza"
"...Who could ask for more..."
"…Thoroughly entertaining." "Truly impressive"
"A two-hour spectacular of gargantuan proportions"
"The whole thing is brilliant"
The Martians are back, for a new generation...
One of the most successful stage shows of recent times, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, returns to UK Arenas with a new star and another technological leap forward.
On November 18, 2011 'The New Generation' of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds launched in conjunction with Sony Music, Live Nation and SJM Concerts, featuring a new interpretation of the classic recording followed by a major international arena tour commencing November 2012.
Internationally acclaimed actor Liam Neeson will be seen in 3D holography as the story's narrator and leading a new cast. Neeson will be seen in 3 ways: appearing as the first full body hologram seen on stage interacting with live actors, as an 11-foot high holographic head and shoulders hovering above the stage, and appearing within the 2-hour CGI film projected onto the incredible 100 foot wide 'animation wall' which adds a true epic scale to the production.
After 33 years since its original release, Liam takes over from Richard Burton, whose holographic head had appeared in the show since 2006, using the original narration from Jeff Wayne's classic 1978 album, a sound that has lived long in the memory and deep in the psyche of generations who have heard it.
Over the years, Jeff was often asked how he would approach composing and producing The War of The Worlds in today's world, rather than the era of the mid 1970s, when disco was king of the dance floor, punk was the revolutionary music of the day and science fiction was being re-discovered in the movies and on TV.
He always answered 'why fix what isn't broken?.' He was proud of the Work and especially of all those who had contributed their varied talents to bring it to life - David Essex, Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott, Chris Thompson, Julie Covington, and of course, Richard Burton. What Jeff never predicted was the extraordinary life his musical interpretation of HG Wells' visionary and dark Victorian tale would have. Now some 33 years on and as Jeff approached his sixth year of touring The War of The Worlds - Alive on Stage! and an animated feature film now in development, this same question kept returning.
“After long consideration,” says Jeff, “I concluded that for future productions, some of HG Wells' storylines and characters should be re-explored. It would also give me the chance to re-interpret my compositions with the production techniques of today, exciting from a musician's point of view.
“But perhaps the greatest opportunity was revisiting the main character of George Herbert, The Journalist and the development of the love story between George and his fiancée Carrie (played by Anna-Marie Wayne). While it may have been the greatest opportunity, it was also the hardest decision to make because I knew that with a re-developed storyline, a new Journalist would need to be sought as Richard Burton's original performance, was finite.
“And whoever that person might turn out to be, he would have to be of no less stature and quality of voice than that of Richard – an incredibly tough act to follow.
But once again I have been fortunate and have attracted Liam Neeson to these New Generation productions. He has, so-to-speak, been handed the 'baton' from Richard Burton, and I believe audiences and listeners alike will find Liam's interpretation no less compelling.”
By good fortune, Liam is a huge fan of the original album, having purchased it when it was first released in 1978. And ironically, as the 'new kid on the block', he acted in a mini TV series on what turned out to be one of Richard Burton's last roles before his untimely passing.
New Generation Facts:
On the original 1978 double album and from 2006 when the arena tours began, Richard Burton's audio and technological visual performances contained 74 sequences. Liam Neeson's Journalist contains 90. Richard's performance was seen in one way. Liam will be seen in three:
- As an 11-foot high holographic 'head and shoulders' as The Journalist recounts in 1904 his story of survival from the Martian invasion of Victorian England some six years earlier.
- Within CGI sequences seen on a 100-foot wide 'Animation Wall'.
- Perhaps the most remarkable element, and a world first in live entertainment, will see Liam Neeson appearing full body on stage interacting holographically with the show's live performers. A triumph of technology and a remarkable performance by Liam.
Jeff Wayne will again conduct the Black Smoke Band and ULLAdubULLA Strings with musical Guest Artistes to be announced for both the new album and tour.
The new live production will also contain exciting new ingredients, as well as some of the most iconic elements returning, including:
- A 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.
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'.
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 Worlds has grown into a true classic, acquiring new generations of devoted followers since its original release.
For anyone of any age, The War of The Worlds – The New Generation is a unique double album and exciting arena show, not to be missed!
For Media information:
The Outside Organisation
+44 20 7436 3633