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  • Sarah Gray

Jeff Wayne's musical version of The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience

We are ushered into a Victorian style theatre where the narrator begins his chilling tale:

Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes and slowly but surely drew their plans against us…

The music kicks in, it's so loud it reverberates through my chest, lights flash, excitement grips and anticipation builds. Terror tingling throughout my body, the singing warns,

The chances of anything coming from Mars is a million to one, they said. But still they come!

We become part of humanities survivors and are lead post-haste by live-action characters through a world being ravaged by Martian invaders. At the Astrologer’s Lab we observe strange lights coming from Mars and then on to Woking common where we first encounter the Martian pod. Live-action is replaced by Virtual Reality. Alien tripods loom above us shooting their chemical rays destroying the defending army.

The War of the Worlds immersive experience is a success. A combination of live action, video and VR technology creates a thrilling world embodying the spirit of Jeff Wayne's interpretation. True to the original album's artwork, the classic steam punk production design won't disappoint fans either.

Up close and personal performances by individual actors was a little intense and I had to get over my Britishness to embrace the storytelling and become part of the experience. Warning! The VR technology is so incredibly good at simulating motion that some participants have been known to vomit. Especially those worse for wear.

Original fans of the novel, the album and newcomers alike will be thrilled by this immersive adventure. Be prepared to fight for your survival, the Martians are coming!

Bookings are being taken throughout October and November.

For more information about the novel by HG Wells, follow the link below:

A BBC adaptation of The War of the Worlds is coming to our screens this autumn.

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