Sunday 9 June 2024

Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience – Review

56 Leadenhall Street, London


No one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century that H. G. Wells’ novel, The War Of The Worlds written in the 1890s would be translated into an album musical that would achieve global recognition.  Now, in a long established residence in the heart of the City of London, the immersive experience of Jeff Wayne’s musical creation allows audiences not only to listen to, but to witness the Martians’ assault on Planet Earth.

In groups of 12 (pre-booking is highly recommended) and with a minimum age of 10, visitors are taken through 24 interactive scenes tracing the narrative of Wayne’s album, played out via a few still tableaux, live actors, projections, VR (virtual reality) headsets, and the requirement for participants to get physical, clambering through windows and sliding down an escape chute when necessary!

Wayne’s iconic album provides the backdrop to the experience with the big songs presented over the course of three ingenious VR sessions – allowing Wayne’s lyrical take on Wells’ narrative to be savoured as the Martian Fighting Machines stalk the world until they are finally… (nope – no spoilers here – if you want to know how the war of the worlds ends you need to see the show!).

Nostalgia freaks will still enjoy the way the album has been trimmed to fit the requirements of the experience – but those sensational songs including Forever Autumn, Thunder Child, Brave New World remain a joy to encounter. The original recording artistes (Julie Covington, David Essex, Justin Hayward – hells bells even Richard Burton was the narrator in that 1978 opus!)  are not heard in the experience but their replacements make fine vocal work of the numbers.

There are a couple of jump-scares (so possibly not for the too faint-hearted) and very occasional moments of creaky scenery – but Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience is a two-hour blast of brilliantly imagined fun.

Booking and information at
The experience is not suitable for those with significantly impaired mobility 

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