Review: Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds – The Final Arena Tour (London O2 Arena 13/12/2014)

Throughout this year there’s only really been one date in December I’d been truly looking forward to, and it’s one that may either surprise or cause eye-rolls across my readership, but it wasn’t Christmas; it was Saturday December 13th.

Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds 2014

It should come as no surprise that I am a massive fan of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds, an album that I came across almost by accident several years ago but have grown to truly adore. Seeing the live version of this awesome album has a chequered history with me personally; blizzards prevented me from seeing the 2010 show and I was determined not to let the opportunity slip again. Duly I booked some pretty good seats for the 2012 New Generation tour but I slammed a home run with my first-day booking at London’s O2 Arena – fourth row seats to the best show of the year!

Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds 2014The pre-show lunch at Nando’s was enjoyable but the anticipation was palpable – after thirteen months of patient waiting the show I’d been waiting for was minutes away. I quickly realised how good my Row D seats were; the O2 Arena is indeed gigantic and staring at the spectacle through binoculars would have spoiled the event somewhat. My frantic purchasing had been vindicated the minute I walked into the arena.

At pretty much launch time the show began with a new prequel featuring HG Wells which led into the the familiar (and somewhat appropriated from the 1998 PC game) prequel with the Martians planning the invasion of Earth. Then the stars take over and Liam Neeson’s hologram begins the famous opening monologue: “No-one would have believed…” and duly followed by the iconic opening strings of The Eve of the War that introduce the start of the invasion – though of course, the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one…

Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds 2014

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Announcements, Writing

Tanks vs Tripods

Today I’d like to let you know all about a project that I’ve been mulling over doing but have finally decided, after conversation with a few people, is definitely something I wanna press on with and make a reality.

War of the Worlds - Tripod (Digital Illustration by pmoodie)This summer, I’d like to write a 30,000 word novella (that will be available for free here) which has a working title of my Modern-Day Version of The War of the Worlds.

WOTW has been a big influence on my work so far; it’s an electrifying retro tale now that is deeply meaningful as a lot of the locations that get flattened are locations that I personally know. It’s also the granddaddy of sci-fi invasion stories; hence it was an inverse inspiration for my nearly-complete novel Colonisation.

However, this project is going to be something special; I’m not just going to retell the story of The War of the Worlds with submarines in place of cannons – I’m going to use the events of the original book as a framework for my own story to take place. I’m also planning to use this as a great opportunity to experiment with fiction writing – this work will be formatted almost like a scrapbook, with the narrator’s thoughts looking back intermixed with emails, blogposts and text message conversations exchanged and posted during the invasion.

I’m really looking forward to not only paying a great tribute to a wonderful sci-fi work, but also experimenting and furthering my own writing ability with something a little… different to what you may be expecting.

More later in the year!

Image credit: DeviantArt