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Initial casting has been announced for Jeff Wayne's musical version of The War of the Worlds which has its West End premiere on 17 February 2016 at the Dominion Theatre following previews from 8 February, where it is running to 30 April 2016.
Joining the onscreen appearance of Liam Neeson and the onstage appearance of Jeff Wayne and his Black Smoke Band and ULLAdubULLA string orchestra, the cast will feature Jimmy Nail (Parson Nathaniel), Daniel Bedingfield (The Artilleryman), Heidi Range (Beth), Michael Praed (George Herbert), Madalena Alberto (Carrie), and David Essex (The Voice Of Humanity).
The show, which will be directed by Bob Tomson, has been adapted by Doreen Wayne and is based on the science fiction novel by HG Wells, first published in 1898, with music by Jeff Wayne and lyrics by Gary Osborne, Paul Vigrass & Jeff Wayne.
Synopsis: "Describes the invasion of Earth by ruthless Martians with superior intelligence, incredible machines and devastating weaponry. An invading alien race bent on conquering humanity."
The War of the Worlds will include new music, a star cast, and a full supporting company of performers. It will also feature video walls, a "Martian Fighting Machine", special effects and a 3D holography of film star Liam Neeson as The Journalist.
Jeff Wayne’s original album won two UK Ivor Novello Awards, the US Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy as well as Classic Rock’s ‘Showman of The Year’ Award. HG Wells’ novel was first published in 1898 and became the prototype for future science fiction novels.
David Essex featured on the original album of 'Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds', as The Artilleryman, and returns to the production after almost 40 years. His stage work includes the original London productions of 'Godspell', 'Evita' and 'All the Fun of the Fair' which is based on his own songs. He also recently starred in BBC One's 'EastEnders' as Eddie Moon.
Jimmy Nail is a singer-songwriter, actor, musician, film producer, score composer and television writer. He first became a household name as Jimmy 'Oz' Osborne in BBC One's hit series 'Auf Wiedersehen, Pet'. He played Magaldi in the film version of 'Evita' starring Madonna, and in 2014 he originated the role of Jackie White in the Sting musical 'The Last Ship' at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway.
Daniel Bedingfield is a New Zealand born British-raised singer-songwriter who shot to stardom in 2001 with the Number One single "Gotta Get Thru This". He went on to be a judge on the first series of 'The X Factor' in New Zealand.
Heidi Range is the longest serving member of the BRIT awarding winning British girl group 'Sugababes', where she enjoyed six UK number one singles, two Number One albums, eighteen UK top ten hits and five UK top ten albums. She was formally one of the original members of girl group 'Atomic Kitten'.
Michael Praed is best known for his portrayal as Robin of Loxley in the classic television series 'Robin of Sherwood'. On stage he has enjoyed starring roles in 'The Sound of Music' (Palladium), 'The Pirates of Penzance' (Drury Lane), 'Aspects of Love' (Prince of Wales) and 'The Three Musketeers' (Broadway Theatre, New York).
Madalena Alberto recently starred as Eva Peron in 'Evita' at the Dominion Theatre in 2014, and went on to play Grizabella in 'Cats' at the London Palladium in 2015.
Full casting is yet to be announced.
Tickets for the West End premiere are now on sale.