Review: Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience.

Audiences are thrown headfirst into the battle between Martian and human, as they take part in the war and fight for themselvesStyle: Terrifying Immersive Musical
Where: 56 Leadenhall Street
When: Currently booking until end August.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Not suitable for those with mobility issues or epilepsy.

Dum Dum Dum (da da dum, da da dum)… Dum Dum Dum (da da dum, da da dum).

These iconic bars from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds are world famous. You know you were humming them – admit it.

The original 1978 album featuring artists as diverse as Richard Burton, David Essex and Phil Lynott has long been an absolute favourite of mine. In fact, I know every word. My best friend and I used to sing Spirit of Man to each other constantly, especially enjoying  “No Nathanial No!” or pretending to be Lynott’s mad vicar.

To match what has been living in my imagination for over 30 years was going to take some doing. But this delivered in spades.

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Emma Burnell (Left) and Shanine Salmon (Right) meet Jeff Wayne (Centre)

This is a HUGE experience. It roams from world to world, set to set, experience to experience. Like Somnai a previous production from Dot Dot this uses a lot of VR. But this was more sparing and for me it worked much better. the boat sequence, the scene inside the Martian ship and the final Air Balloon journey were all particularly good. But they were also augmented by a lot of excellent real interactions with the superb cast.

What I liked about this experience is it was genuinely terrifying in parts. They didn’t hold back from that. There were moments that were physcially challenging, moments that were psychologically challenging and moments that were both. All with an excellent soundtrack that had me dancing along even as I was being terrified!

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The cast were considerably less hammy than I am here.

I enjoyed myself throughout the War of the Worlds Immersive Experience. The second half was pacier than the first half, but both had really strong moments. I was grinning from ear-to-ear when I emerged. It’s bloody good fun with a bloody good soundtrack. In fact I would say the chances of Anyone coming to this and not enjoying themselves are a million to one.

 

 

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