Firstly, I should like to preface this post by stating clearly that there are no words with which I can describe this event. What follows is difficult to express. Never in my years on this Earth have I seen a show so profoundly well executed. WOTW Alive on Stage wasn’t a show by any measurable standards; it was an event.
Legendary Jeff Wayne conducted the 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings orchestra, accompanied by the 9 piece ‘Black Smoke Band’. Behind the musicians was a screen 100ft wide. Flanking this giant screen were 2 enormous square screens. The latter screens were where Liam Neeson, who starred as the Journalist, appeared.
I’ll admit to you that I was in tears throughout the whole of the first half of the show. The combination of the orchestra; band; holograms and light show was too much to bear. The enormity of this spectacle is difficult to express. You know by now that I look for the numinous in my music. that is to say evidence of something greater, something bigger than the sound. WOTW delivered that in abundance.
The 39 ft tall; 3.5 tonne Martian Tripod was a particular highlight. Dropping from the ceiling with a thunderous crash, this machine proceeded to spit fire at key moments and astound and strike fear into the audience. I was taken aback by the grandeur of the machine. It was just awesome.
Jason Donovan played the crazed parson so very well. He clung to his cross as his sanity slowly ebbed away from him. I was so shocked when the Journalist knocked him out. Given that Neeson wasn’t there in person, I wondered how they would get around this. But the hologram fully punched Donovan!
Carrie Hope Fletcher played his wife. Her vocal range and stage presence were stunning. The famed Newton Faulkner acted as the sung voice of the journalist. I didn’t find him as captivating as the others, especially Inglorious singer Nathan James. The strength of his vocals cannot be understated. He brought a classic rock & roll feel to the Voice of Humanity. His rendition of Thunder Child sent chills down my spine. Finally, Adam Garcia was brilliant as the Artilleryman. He plays demented very well.
Overall, I cannot impress upon you the scope of what Jeff Wayne has achieved here. I’m unable to watch the few videos I took from the show without being moved profoundly. WOTW Alive on Stage is by far the greatest show I have ever attended. I am awed and humbled by its scale.