Alongside the onscreen appearance of Liam Neeson and the onstage appearance of Jeff Wayne and his magnificent Black Smoke Band and ULLAdubULLA string orchestra, casting has now been announced for the World Stage Premiere of The War of The Worlds at the Dominion Theatre.
Making his West End debut singer-songwriter, actor, musician, and writer Jimmy Nail plays Parson Nathaniel.
Also making his debut will be Daniel Bedingfield, as The Artilleryman. The New Zealand born, British raised singer-songwriter shot to stardom in 2001. He returns to this country from LA for the first time in many years.
The third cast member to make their West End debut is Heidi Range, playing Beth. Heidi was the longest serving member of the BRIT award winning multi-platinum-selling British girl group Sugababes.
Alongside these debutants are two West End regulars: Michael Praed, as George Herbert, whose first major appearance was at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in Joseph Papp’s production of The Pirates of Penzance, and who has since regularly starred in on Broadway and in the West End; and joining him Madalena Alberto, playing Carrie, fresh from her triumph as Eva Peron in Evita at The Dominion last year.
Finally, as The Voice Of Humanity, and completing possibly the starriest cast the West End has seen, is David Essex. One of the original contributors to Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds in 1978, this will be the first time the two men have joined together to work on The War of The Worlds since.
Since its inception in 1978, Jeff Wayne’s original double album has become one of the most ground-breaking and bestselling musical works of all time. With over 15 million copies sold and 330 weeks in the UK Album Charts to date, a number one album in 11 countries, a number-one music DVD, 8 years of world-wide arena tours, and huge critical acclaim across the globe the score includes the two international hit singles The Eve of The War and Forever Autumn.
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds has won two prestigious Ivor Novello Awards, the Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy Award (the judges included Alfred Hitchcock, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg), as well as winning for Jeff, Classic Rock’s Showman of The Year Award.
David Essex is known to millions worldwide. In 1978 he featured on the original double album, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds, as The Artilleryman. Now, almost 40 years later and for the first time since its inception, he returns as The Voice of Humanity. David and Jeff first worked together in 1973 when Jeff became David’s Producer and Arranger; the classic song Rock On was Number One in the U.S, received a Grammy nomination for David and won Jeff the UK NME Award for Best Single. David’s remarkable career boasts theatre, film, TV, concerts and records: 19 Top 40 UK Singles – including two Number Ones – and 16 Top 40 Albums. Having first shot to fame as Jesus in Godspell, his stage work since includes his iconic role as Che in Evita and All the Fun of the Fair which is based on his hit own songs. David also starred in BBC One’s EastEnders as the charismatic Eddie Moon.
Singer-songwriter, actor, musician, film producer, score composer and television writer Jimmy Nail first became a household name as Jimmy ‘Oz’ Osborne in BBC One’s hit series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Jimmy then wrote, produced and played the title role in the award-winning television series Spender, which also launched a best-selling novel. He created the BBC series Crocodile Shoes in which he played country and western singer Jed Shepherd – the show’s eponymous theme tune became a chart hit and the album went triple-platinum in the UK. As a musician, Jimmy enjoyed success with the Number One single Ain’t No Doubt. He played Augustin Magaldi in the feature film Evita starring Madonna, and in 2014 he originated the role of Jackie White in the Sting musical The Last Ship at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway.
Daniel Bedingfield, the New Zealand born British-raised singer-songwriter shot to stardom in 2001 with the Number One single Gotta Get Thru This. His musicianship earned him a BRIT award, six UK Top 10 singles including If You’re Not The One and Never Gonna Leave Your Side and a debut album that sold over four million copies worldwide. As a songwriter Daniel co-wrote (and performed) I Wanna Feel by SecondCity which debuted at Number One in the UK Singles Chart in 2014.
Heidi Range is much loved as the longest serving member of the BRIT awarding winning multi-platinum-selling British girl group Sugababes, where she enjoyed six UK number one singles, two Number One albums, eighteen UK top ten hits and five UK top ten albums. Heidi was formally one of the original members of girl group Atomic Kitten.
British actor Michael Praed is probably best known for his iconic portrayal as Robin of Loxley in the classic television series Robin of Sherwood; which won him cult status worldwide and led to his journey to Hollywood and Dynasty. On stage he has enjoyed starring roles in The Sound of Music (Palladium), The Pirates of Penzance (Drury Lane), Aspects of Love (Prince of Wales) The Three Musketeers (Broadway Theatre, New York); and many others.
No stranger to the West End Madalena Alberto won enormous acclaim for her portrayal as Eva Peron in Bill Kenwright’s production of Evita at the Dominion Theatre in 2014. She went on to play Grizabella in CATS at the London Palladium. Her other musical theatre credits include the title role of Piaf at the Curve Theatre and Fantine in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables.
Completing the cast are Will Barratt, Charlie Bull, Antony Hansen, Chris Jenkins, Grace McKee, Simon Shorten, Ethan Bradshaw, Tash Holway, Matt Holland, Jack Mitchell, Marios Nicolaides and Jodie Steele.
Reimagined for its world stage premiere the iconic score is played live and conducted on stage by Jeff Wayne. The show includes new music composed especially for the West End production, and a full supporting company of performers. In addition to video walls, special effects and in sight and sound Liam Neeson as The Journalist, the iconic Martian Fighting Machine will be brought to spectacular theatrical life for the first time.
It’s gonna be a blast!