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Tour 2012-2013 UK & Europe: Press Release

Official Press Release

THE DAZZLING, GROUNDBREAKING ARENA PRODUCTION LAUNCHES A NEW GENERATION!



Featuring: Liam Neeson / Marti Pellow/ Jason Donovan / Kerry Ellis / Ricky Wilson /Will Stapleton

One of the most successful stage shows of recent times, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds - Alive on Stage! returns to UK Arenas with a stellar cast and another technological leap forward.

'The New Generation' of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds launched in November 2011 in conjunction with Sony Music, Live Nation and SJM Concerts and features a new interpretation of the classic recording followed by a major 22 date international arena tour, commencing in Dublin on 29 November 2012.

Internationally acclaimed actor Liam Neeson will appear in the new production, in 3D holography as George Herbert, The Journalist. The groundbreaking, full body, live action 3D hologram is an extraordinary performance from Liam, who interacts with the live performers, including passing objects between hologram and reality! Liam inherits his role from Richard Burton, whose voice is an abiding memory for a generation haunted by his narration. While a hard act to follow, he definitely makes the role his own.

Liam explains:

I knew and loved the book from when I was a teenager and it was an easy persuasion. And I bought the album in 1979 when I was working in Ireland. I still have that little cassette.

Liam Neeson

In addition, The New Generation of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds - Alive on Stage! boasts an exciting and hugely talented new cast. Award winning singer, songwriter and actor, Marti Pellow plays The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist who says,

I am so looking forward to working on Jeff Wayne's classic, The War of The Worlds. I think Jeff's idea of the New Generation is wonderful... it says to me The War of The Worlds is still about that original amazing piece - but it's also about turning new people on to his vision, it delivers so much more to the original fans and will massively inspire new ones. And as a songwriter I get it big time - but as a punter too, watching this show, it will simply blow you away! Jeff's team have put together a production that is second to none - embracing today's technology but never losing sight of the star of the show, the songs and that's why it was a big "yes" from me. Finally with these new guest stars onboard - this is a must have ticket - bring it on - I can't wait!

Marti Pellow

Previously a leading light of the phenomenally successful tour as The Artilleryman, singer and stage star Jason Donovan will return this time as Parson Nathaniel, the disturbed holy man driven to insanity by the Martian invasion of earth, and believing they are the Devil.

Jason says,

I am delighted and very excited to be going back on tour with The War of The Worlds and taking on the new role of Parson Nathaniel. The New Generation is going to have some fantastic effects and I, for one, can't wait to see the 3D holography of Liam Neeson! It's going to be a whole new show and a whole new experience.

Jason Donovan

Musical phenomenon Kerry Ellis plays his wife, Beth with Kaiser Chiefs' front man Ricky Wilson in the role of The Artilleryman.

Kerry Ellis says,

"The moment I got the call from Jeff Wayne I started to get excited about the prospect of joining the cast of 'The War of The Worlds'. Growing up I remember listening to the iconic sound track on cassette (yes cassette!) and loving the musical story. Now I get the chance to play Beth and be part of the newly adapted show which is a dream"

Kerry Ellis

Ricky Wilson says,

Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds is part of the musical landscape and I have always been a fan. It has long been held up as a fantastic piece of music and it is close to so many people's hearts. It is daunting to do because people love it so much. But I want to start doing things that scare me. I got the email from Jeff Wayne inviting me to be a part of it and that is not something you can say 'no' to.

Ricky Wilson

Will Stapleton, front man of the fast-rising British rock band Jettblack will also join the cast. Fresh off the back of a headline tour with Jettblack, Will is looking forward to hitting the stage alongside a new and exciting cast performing the role of The Voice of Humanity.

Will says,

It's an honour to even be considered for a role like this let alone getting the part. I can't wait to put my own stamp on the role of The Voice of Humanity whose track ‘Thunder Child' is the climatic song that ends Act 1. I'm raring to get on stage

Will Stapleton

Over the years, Jeff has often been asked how he would approach The War of The Worlds if he was composing and producing it 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?'

But Jeff could never have predicted 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.

Jeff Wayne says,

After long consideration 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 who ‘threads' the story together. And 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 my 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.

For this next arena tour with Ricky Wilson, Jason Donovan, Kerry Ellis, Marti Pellow and Will Stapleton - they each have a magic that draws audiences to them and I welcome them all to The War of The Worlds.

Jeff Wayne

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