THEATRE REVIEW: The War Of The Worlds

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Dominion Theatre

WHEN: 29/2, runs to 30/4

The cast for this stadium-sized show which has found its way to the Dominion Theatre is as varied as it is star-studded and features, deep breath, David Essex, Michael Praed, Jimmy Nail, Daniel Bedingfield and Heidi from the Sugababes.

Composer Jeff Wayne even pops up to conduct the orchestra and Liam Neeson appears in pre-recorded scenes narrating the action.

In fact this production could never be accused of downplaying anything. There’s film footage on screens, fireworks and even a tripod wobbling about the stage.

We’ve never been big fans of the score but here a 20-odd piece orchestra is going for it full tilt. Essex, curiously, doesn’t have a major part and Praed, who is the lead, occasionally struggles with the singing work he has been given. Nail, Bedingfield and Heidi Range don’t feature hugely but all perform well. Madalena Alberto is also massively impressive in a minor role.

The stadium-sized chicanery, for us, makes it harder to become involved with the story. It reminded us of last year’s flawed Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games which was also staged at the Dominion but we saw at the considerably smaller Playhouse Theatre.

What may become a worry for its producers could be the number of empty seats at the show we attended. An enjoyable evening of spectacle outdoing substance.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Dominion Theatre. Tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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