Multi award-winning Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience returns with a new production.
The show features live actors, virtual and augmented realities, 5D effects, plus the recorded voices of Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward, Inglorious’ Nathan James and Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson set to Jeff’s multi-platinum selling double album.
Visitors will meet a colourful cast of characters as they visit the Royal Observatory, sneak into a deserted house, and escape London on a boat down the Thames, whilst trying to survive the Martian invaders.
Interactive holograms of Tom Brittney and Anna-Marie Wayne feature as George Herbert, The Journalist and Carrie, The Journalist’s wife, and Carrie Hope Fletcher as Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s wife, plus a live cast of 12 actors completing a live experience.
Composer/producer Jeff Wayne partnered with digital entertainment company Layered Reality to re-imagine his musical work and produce what became, Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience.
Since its opening last year, it achieved widespread critical acclaim and won the Tea Thea Award, considered the “Oscars” of the Entertainment world for Outstanding Achievement in Connected Immersion and the Gold Winners for Best Innovation, Youth Travel Awards 2019.
With journalist George Herbert as your guide, he will take you through a feature-length plot of 24 scenes with the challenge of covering more than half a mile of movie sets, as you duck, dodge and slide your way through the two-hour attack from the Martian forces.
Should you survive, you will have shared something unique, perilous and exhilarating with the Experience’s team, celebrating your survival in a themed steampunk bar/restaurant, the Spirit of Man, welcoming you with its own smoke-blowing green-eyed Martian Fighting Machine.
Jeff Wayne’s musical version of the War of the Worlds is the biggest-selling stand-alone double album of all time with more than 16 million sales and two international hit singles – The Eve of The War and Forever Autumn – all featured in the Experience.
For more than four decades, Jeff has showcased HG Wells’ dark Victorian tale to listeners and audiences from around the world, while pushing technology to the limit both sonically and visually.
Originally released in June 1978, 40 years after Orson Welles’ infamous panic-inducing Halloween night radio broadcast about a Martian invasion of New York. Today, the apocalyptic themes of Jeff’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds appear more relevant than ever.
To ensure audiences safe enjoyment throughout the show, all the ur actors are trained to keep the groups at a safe distance, allowing guests to be at the heart of the action, experiencing first hand the fear and destruction wrought by the attack of the Martian forces.
“My musical version of The War of The Worlds has now occupied a good part of my life, and I’ve been fortunate to see it grow in so many unexpected ways,” said Jeff.
When the pandemic closed the show in March, it was like so many others that instantly became threatened, with no real surety of when ‘normal’, or even close to ‘normal’, would return.
“During this long period, those at Layered Reality worked to meet every criterion the government required to make our show COVID-secure. I am very grateful for their fortitude and determination, to now know that the Martians are Coming ... back.
“ With our collective teams, we’ll be returning with a new production that has pushed the levers of creatively even further,” he said.
Carrie Hope Fletcher said: “Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds is a huge Fletcher family favourite. I grew up listening to the double album and it holds huge personal significance to me.
“I am so thrilled to be returning in ‘virtual reality’ when the Immersive Experience reopens. The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience is both thrilling and exciting.
“Importantly, it offers an opportunity where audiences can connect with other human beings on a very personal level. That sense of bonding is what we all crave right now. The War of the Worlds story is the perfect metaphor for COVID where, in the face of apocalyptic forces, humanity wins.
It’s been a hugely tough time for the arts but we will return and stronger than ever before.”
Tom Brittney said: “I’m so delighted that The War of The World’s is opening back up next year, it’s hugely positive news for the industry.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the arts across the board but amid this horrific landscape there has been revolution and innovation.
"Technology has been at the forefront of recovery and Immersive Theatre stands out as a cultural art form that will bounce back quickly. It’s an adaptable and agile medium.
“I’ve never been part of an immersive theatre experience before especially something using VR technology and it’s so innovative.
“What’s unique about The War of the Worlds experience is that the audience is placed right at the heart of the action. With my VR character, journalist George Herbert as the guide, guests have realistic battles against the Martians, emerging two hours later having shared something unique, perilous and exhilarating with their team.
“Importantly, the experience has the ability to transport guests to a new place, providing the ultimate escape that everyone is craving.”
Anna-Marie Wayne said: “The Musical Version of The War of the Worlds has of course always been near and dear to my heart.
“It was hugely exciting to see the Immersive Experience come to life for the first time in the City of London and I was thrilled to be a part of this new and exciting incarnation.”
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have the capacity to transport guests into a new world order of entertainment, providing a true escape everyone has been craving since the first lockdown in March and showing how such technologies can bring the world closer together.
The popularity of Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience was immediate and became a Top 15 Night Out on TripAdvisor, and showed a shift in people’s search for intimate, immersive experiences.
Layered reality founder and chief executive Andrew McGuinness said: “This event is different because not only are you watching it, you’re in it and that’s powerful. People are going to discover something out of this crisis, and they’re going to want to have new deeper experiences that stick with them, and they’re going to want to experience them with others. This is a pivotal moment for interactive, immersive entertainment.”
The War of the Worlds Immersive Experience is open from March 4 to September 4 next year. Tickets on sale from November 20 via TheWarofTheWorldsImmersive.com site.