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Tour 2014 UK & Europe: : The Cast

Jeff Wayne and The Cast

  • Cast Member

    Jeff Wayne

    Composer / Arranger / Conductor / Producer

    Born in Forest Hills, New York, Jeff Wayne is an award winning composer, arranger, conductor and producer including for stage, film, TV and radio, records, advertising and interactive projects.

    WRITING AND PRODUCTION CREDITS INLCUDE:

    The Who, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Russell Watson, Rhydian, Jason Donovan, The London Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), David Essex, Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Human League, Orbital, Todd Terry, N-Trance, Dario G, Hybrid, Pendulum, Croatian piano virtuoso Maksim, Kerry Ellis, Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs), Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet), Joss Stone, Maverick Sabre, Alex Clare, Gary Barlow and Liam Neeson.

    TV and FILM MUSIC INCLUDES:

    ITVs 'The Big Match', 'The World of Sport' and 'The World Cup, BBC TV's 60 Minutes, TV-am/Good Morning Britain (the UK's first breakfast TV station for its 12-year run) and LBC, the UK's first 24-hour radio news station, Jeff composing all its music for 24 years until the station was sold on.

    Most recently the TV series Video Surf (Sky Pick) commissioned Jeff for its original music.

    Films include McVicar, Stardust, That'll Be The Day and Golden Rendezvous.

    Jeff's music has also been performed to by gymnasts (2012 London Olympic Games), jugglers, dancers, ice skaters, magicians, fire-eaters, animals and 'Ali G' on the 2005 MTV Awards!

    His musical interpretation of HG Wells's 'The War of The Worlds' has achieved international acclaim (see awards below), with over 15 million sales to date and is among the longest running albums in UK chart history, currently over 330 weeks.

    Its main theme, 'The Eve of The War', has been used by the BBC for the Davis Cup, US TV (NBC) for the US Open, Sky TV for its Science Fiction Month and countless other programs around the world over the years. It has also enjoyed club hit status in many forms from disco to the most cutting edge styles of today including Pendulum's performance on The Pyramid stage at Glastonbury-2012 sharing top-of-the-bill status with Beyonce.

    In 2004, Jeff created The Book of Tennis (endorsed by the ITF) and television series - The Book of Tennis Chronicles – 8 half-hour episodes distributed world-wide by Fox Sports and debuting in the US on The Tennis Channel running for 3 years. Series 2 is currently being planned.

    In 2006, the arena tour - The War of The Worlds – Alive on Stage! was launched, with Jeff conducting a renowned cast with audiences and critics hailing it as one of the most innovative marriages of music, technology and live performance.

    Alive! returned in 2007, 2009 and 2010 across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The 2012-2013 'New Generation' tour was performed in the UK and parts of Europe and will be returning late 2014, including its debut in the US.

    In 2006 a DVD filmed for Universal Pictures at London's Wembley Arena hit No 1 for 7 straight weeks on the UK Music Week charts and broadcast on Sky Arts. A new DVD filmed at London's 02 arena in December 2012 will be released commercially this Christmas, followed by TV. It also debuted in the UK and internationally in digital cinemas in April 2013.

    Tennis has been part of Jeff's life from age 5. Taught by his father Jerry (the original Sky Masterson in the West End production of 'Guys and Dolls'), Jeff captained and played No 1 for his high school and college teams. Today he captains Hertfordshire County Men, is a member of the International Club of Great Britain, has won national Veteran Singles and Doubles titles and has represented Great Britain.

    Jeff's also played many pro-am tournaments including for Muscular Dystrophy, Olympic Games and Save The Children, and is a long-standing Patron of HAD (Hertfordshire Action on Disability) and a Vice President of the LTA Dan Maskell Trust.

    He is also the CEO of the Jeff Wayne Music Group - www.jeffwaynemusic.com and co-founder of Viral Spiral, one of the world's largest management companies of viral clips - www.viralspiralgroup.com

    Jeff and Geraldine live in Hertfordshire, England and have four children: daughters Anna-Marie - an actress and producer; Jemma - an author and journalist; and sons Zeb – a musician and DJ on the international club scene; and Joab, recently graduated from Birmingham University in philosophy, and a former touring tennis player.

    AWARDS/NOMINATIONS

    1. UK New Musical Express - Winner
      Best Produced Pop Single – 'Rock On'
    2. US Grammy - Nomination
      Best performance by a new artist – 'Rock On' / David Essex
    3. UK Ivor Novello Awards (2) - Winner
      Best Original Work – 'The War of The Worlds'
    4. Album of The YearNomination
      Sponsored by the Daily Mirror (pre Brits). TWOTW – Runner Up.
    5. TPI Awards – Best Tour of 2006
      – Runner-up to Take That.
    6. Classic Rock ' Showman of The Year' AwardWinner
      To Jeff Wayne for TWOTW Tour 2007.
    7. USA Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy Winner
      Jeff Wayne for TWOTW
      Judges: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Alfred Hitchcock.
    8. Evening Standard Awards (now the Olivier Awards) – Runner Up
      'Two Cities' – West End musical of the year
    9. Best Music in Advertising – Winner
      The Cheese Bureau / JWT
      Blue Band Margarine / Leo Burnett.
  • Cast Member

    Liam Neeson

    George Herbert, The Journalist

    Liam Neeson has become one of the leading international motion picture actors today. Whether it is his Academy Award® nominated role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's highly acclaimed "Schindler's List" (1993), his award-winning portrayal of legendary Irish Republican hero in "Michael Collins" (1996), or his role as controversial sex therapist Alfred Kinsey in the critically acclaimed "Kinsey" (2004), Neeson continues to display an acting range matched by few.

    Neeson recently completed production on multiple projects including "Non Stop," directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, scheduled for release February 2014. This thriller centers around an air marshal who must spring into action on a domestic flight. Neeson also wrapped production on "Third Person," directed by Paul Haggis, Universal Pictures' "A Walk Among the Tombstones," directed by Scott Frank, and the Seth MacFarlane directed film, "A Million Ways to Die," - all of which are set to release next year. In addition, Neeson will appear in "The Lego Movie," directed by Phil Lord and set to release later this year.

    Liam has also lent his voice to Millennium Entertainment's animated film Khumba, directed by Anthony Silverston – set to be released in 2014.

    Neeson will make a cameo appearance in Paramount Pictures' Anchorman: The Legend Continues, set to release this December.

    2012 proved to be a busy year for Neeson as he appeared in five films: In January, Neeson starred in director Joe Carnahan's "The Grey," which we saw Neeson fight for survival against the elements and rabid wolves in the Alaskan wilderness.

    In March, he starred alongside Sam Worthington and Ralph Fiennes in Warner Bros' "Wrath of the Titans," the sequel to the popular "Clash of the Titans."

    In May, Neeson appeared in Peter Berg's action sci-fi, "Battleship", about a fleet of ships that are forced to battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart the invaders' destructive goals.

    In July, he appeared in "The Dark Night Rises" for director Christopher Nolan, and in October he starred in "Taken 2," the sequel to the worldwide box-office sensation "Taken."

    In February 2011 Neeson starred opposite Diane Kruger and January Jones in the psychological thriller about stolen identity titled "Unknown."

    In 2010, Neeson co-starred in the Warner Bros' remake of the 1981 film "Clash of the Titans," which tells the myth of Perseus and his quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster in order to save the princess Andromeda. Additionally in 2010, Neeson appeared in "After Life" opposite Christina Ricci. The film involves a young woman caught between life and death and a funeral director who appears to have the gift of transitioning the dead. Additionally he could be seen in the remake of the popular TV series "The A-Team" alongside Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel, as an ex-con in Paul Haggis' "The Next Three Days," and as the voice of Aslan the Lion in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."

    2009 saw the debut of the BBC film "Five Minutes of Heaven" which received rave reviews at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

    In 2008 Neeson starred in "Taken," the runaway box-office hit about an ex-soldier trying to track down the Albanian slave masters who have kidnapped his daughter. Additionally that year, Neeson once again teamed up with Laura Linney in Richard Eyre's "The Other Man". In May of 2008 Neeson appeared in Disney's box office success "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" where he reprised his role as the voice of the Lion, Aslan, in the sequel to the 2005 hit "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." That same year he also returned to the stage at the Lincoln Center Festival in Gate/Beckett: Eh Joe directed by Atom Egoyan.

    In 2006 Neeson graced the screen in the classic revenge drama "Seraphim Falls" opposite Pierce Brosnan. In 2005, he appeared in Ridley Scott's crusades epic "Kingdom of Heaven." He also co-starred that year in "Batman Begins," directed by Christopher Nolan.

    Neeson's portrayal of Alfred Kinsey in Bill Condon's "Kinsey," co-starring Laura Linney, garnered him a Best Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Prior to that, Neeson co-starred with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Keira Knightly in the Working Title film "Love Actually" (2003), written and directed by Richard Curtis.

    Neeson returned to Broadway in 2002, co-starring with his friend Laura Linney in Arthur Miller's classic "The Crucible." Mr. Neeson's performance as John Proctor earned both he and Miss Linney a Tony® Award nomination.

    In 2001, he starred opposite Harrison Ford in the true story of Russia's nuclear submarine tragedy entitled "K-19: The Windowmaker," and starred opposite Sandra Bullock in the black comedy "Gun Shy" (2000).

    Neeson starred in the box-office phenomenon "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" (1999) in the role of Qui-Gon Jinn, the Master Jedi Knight who bestows his Force-ful wisdom upon Obi-Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker. In the same year, he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in Jan De Bont's "The Haunting" (1999).

    In addition, he starred in the screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" in the role of Jean Valjean, co-starring Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes. Also that year, Neeson played Oscar Wilde in David Hare's new play, "The Judas Kiss" which opened in London's West End and subsequently on Broadway.

    Neeson starred in the title role in Neil Jordan's "Michael Collins" (1996) for which he received Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival, a Golden Globe® Best Actor nomination, and London's prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. The film also received the highest honor in Venice -- The Golden Lion Award.

    It was in 1993 when Neeson received worldwide attention for his starring role in the Academy Award® winning film "Schindler's List." In addition to winning an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor, he was nominated for a Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award.

    The Irish-born actor had originally sought a career as a teacher after attending Queens University, Belfast and majoring in physics, computer science and math . Neeson set teaching aside and in 1976 joined the prestigious Lyric Players Theatre in Belfast ("The best training any actor could have."), making his professional acting debut in Joseph Plunkett's "The Risen People." After two years with the Lyric Players, he joined the famed National Theatre of Ireland, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Neeson appeared in the Abbey Theatre Festival's production of Brian Friel's "Translations," and a production of Sean O'Casey's "The Plough and the Stars" for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England where he received a Best Actor Award.

    In 1980, John Boorman spotted him playing Lennie in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" and cast him in the epic saga of the Arthurian legend, "Excalibur." Following this motion picture debut, Neeson has appeared in more than 40 films demonstrating a wide range of characters,. Including Dino DeLaurentiis' epic remake of "The Bounty" (1984), directed by Roger Donaldson and co-starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins; the critically-acclaimed "Lamb" (1986) for which he received an Evening Standard Drama Award nomination for his haunting portrayal of a priest tormented by doubts about his faith; Andrei Konchalovsky's "Duet for One" (1986), co-starring Julie Andrews; as a political terrorist in "A Prayer for the Dying" (1987) with Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins; and a Jesuit priest in Roland Joffe's "The Mission" (1986), co-starring Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons.

    Neeson received critical acclaim starring opposite Cher as a deaf and mute Vietnam veteran in Peter Yates' courtroom drama "Suspect" (1987); as the passionate Irish sculptor opposite Diane Keaton in "The Good Mother" (1988), and as scientist Peyton Westlake whose disfiguring accident forces him into hiding in Sam Raimi's fantasy-thriller "Darkman" (1990).

    Neeson next starred in David Leland's gritty contemporary drama "Crossing the Line" based on William McIlvanney's acclaimed novel, The Big Man about an unemployed Scottish miner desperate for money that is thrust into the high-stakes world of bare-knuckle boxing.

    In 1992, he starred as both a Nazi engineer in David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Isaac's best-selling novel "Shining Through" opposite Michael Douglas; and as a disgraced policeman accused of murder in the erotic thriller "Under Suspicion."

    Neeson then continued to star in a succession of film, most notably playing the sensitive art historian vying for the affections of Mia Farrow and Judy Davis in Woody Allen's controversial "Husbands and Wives" (1992).

    His other credits include "Ethan Frome" (1993) with Joan Allen, Michael Apted's "Nell" (1994), starring opposite Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson; "Before and After" (1996) with Meryl Streep; and the title role in Michael Canton-Jones' "Rob Roy" (1995), co-starring Jessica Lange.

    Neeson made his Broadway debut in 1993 receiving a Tony® Award nomination in the Roundabout Theater's revival of Eugene O'Neill's 1921 drama "Anna Christie," co-starring Natasha Richardson.

  • Cast Member

    Jason Donovan

    Parson Nathaniel

    Jason Donovan came into our lives in the late 80s as Scott Robinson on the hit Australian series, 'Neighbours'. Throughout 1988/89 he had several hits and his album 'Ten Good Reasons' was the best-selling album of 1989. Since that time, he has rarely been away from stage or screen including leading stage roles in 'Joseph', 'The Rocky Horror Show', 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', 'Priscilla' and 'The Sound of Music'.

    In the two years since we saw him make the 'Strictly Come Dancing' final, he completed the 'Strictly Live UK and Ireland Tour', released an album, was interviewed by Piers Morgan for his ITV1 'Life Stories' series, and was a mentor/judge with former Spice Girl, Melanie Chisholm, Dawn French and Andrew Lloyd Webber for the ITV1 musical talent show 'Superstar'. In the winter of 2012, Jason was delighted to return to Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds – The New Generation, in the role of Parson Nathaniel. Throughout 2013 he has been on tour in the UK as reviving his role as Tic in Priscilla.

  • Cast Member

    Brian McFadden

    The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist

    Brian McFadden has sold 36 million records including seven straight No 1 singles during his time with the UK & Ireland's best-selling boy band of all time, Westlife. Not forgetting the MTV Europe Music Award, Brit Awards and Record Of The Year on three occasions. After leaving Westlife, Brian secured a debut solo Number 1 single with 'Real To Me' and a top 5 debut solo album.

    Over the past few years, Brian has been a judge on Australia's Got Talent - which was the Number 1 show in Australia. He also notched up further Number 1's in Australia with his successful music career there, taking his total worldwide sales over the 40 million mark. Now back in the UK full time, Brian completed a successful O2 Academy tour across the UK earlier this year, released a new single - 'Time To Save Our Love' and has been very busy on our TV screens with regular showbiz reporter work on Daybreak and took part in ITV1's Saturday night show 'Stepping Out' with his wife Vogue, reaching the final of the show.

  • Cast Member

    Shane Ward

    The Artilleryman

    Shayne Ward at the age of 29 has enjoyed a stellar career. Since winning the UK X Factor in 2005 Shayne has released three albums, played London's O2 Arena, sold over 3 million albums, achieved a staggering 14 Platinum discs, had number one albums in 9 countries, rocked West End audiences and ice-skated back onto Saturday night TV. Shayne is, still to this date, the most successful solo male X Factor winner.

    Manchester born and bred, Shayne's family hails from Ireland, a connection he is fiercely proud of.  A perfectionist when it comes to his performing, he is most at home on the stage, where his infectious vocals and incredible presence come alive. For him nothing is better than being in front of a live audience.

    Shayne released his third album, Obsession, in November 2010 and followed that up with a major UK tour.  That year he also performed at the Miss World Final in China to an estimated TV audience of over 2 Billion and headlined the Boston Pride Festival in America.

    In 2011, Shayne branched out into musicals and played the inaugural Stacee Jaxx in the West End hit musical Rock Of Ages opposite Justin Lee Collins. Following that, he swapped leather for lycra, strapping on his skates and taking to the ice to appear on ITVs Dancing On Ice, gaining him a legion of new fans.

    Following recording duets with his folk heroes Foster & Allen and with West End star Louise Dearman, Shayne is now back in the studio working on his fourth album for release later in February 2015. The album, written and recorded with legendary hit-maker Mike Stock, will be released through PledgeMusic along with new merchandise and the opportunity for fans to get involved and spend time with Shayne in the studio, at a karaoke night or having 1-1 Skype sessions.
    http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/shayneward

  • Cast Member

    Carrie Hope Fletcher

    Beth, Parson Nathaniel's Wife

    In 2013 Carrie made her adult theatrical debut as Eponine in Les Miserables at The Queen's Theatre London. She previously appeared in the West End as Jane Banks in Mary Poppins (Original Cast - Prince Edward Theatre) and as Jemima Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Original Cast - London Palladium)

    Television includes: Tanya in In Two Minds, Rocky in Break Kids and Jenny in Dog and Duck.

    Other work includes the recording of the Official 2012 Olympic Mascot's song 'On a Rainbow' and the Original London Cast recording of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    Alongside Carrie's acting and singer/songwriter career Carrie is also known for her series of videos on her YouTube channel 'itswaypastmybedtime' which has gained her a dedicated following of nearly 400,000 subscribers.

    As a big fan of both the book and the film Carrie is so excited to join The War of The Worlds team.

  • Cast Member

    Joseph Whelan

    The Voice of Humanity

    Joseph started playing guitar 10 years ago - pretty soon he became known around the circuit playing with some established rock bands. He went on to develop his skills with the guitar whilst also developing his unique singing style and songwriting skills.

    In 2012 Joseph was encouraged to enter The X Factor - he performed the classic Led Zeppelin rock classic 'Whole Lotta Love' which quickly trended round the world following his audition and currently has 14,000,000 hits on YouTube. He went on to the judges houses stage of the competition where his X Factor journey came to an end, causing an uproar from millions of viewers. Campaigns were started with as many as 250,000 people trying to bring Joseph back - he was persuaded to return in 2013 through public demand and again got through to the judges houses stage with Robbie Williams being one of his biggest fans!

    2012 was the turning point in his career - he wrote and recorded a single, ‘I Lie Lonely’ and it went straight to number 1 on the Official Charts Companies' Rock Singles Chart and entered at number 3 on the Independent Chart

    Joseph's online presence started to rocket with over 1,000,000 views registered on his own YouTube channel along with 53,000 followers on both Twitter and Facebook.

    As a huge fan of The War of the Worlds, to be performing as The Voice of Humanity is a dream come true for Joseph, and he can't wait to get on the road.


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