The War of the Worlds – cast includes Jimmy Nail, David Essex and Michael Praed

untitledAlongside the onscreen appearance of Liam Neeson and the onstage appearance of Jeff Wayne and his 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.

The show will preview from Monday 8 February 2016 with an opening night gala performance on 17 February.

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. Range is the longest0serving 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 on Broadway and in the West End; and joining him will be Madalena Alberto, playing Carrie, fresh from her triumph as Eva Peron in Evita at the Dominion last year.

Finally, as The Voice Of Humanity, 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 show since.

Based on HG Wells’ much loved sci-fi novel, The War of the Worlds is adapted by Doreen Wayne with music by Jeff Wayne; lyrics by Gary Osborne, Paul Vigrass and Jeff Wayne. The production will be directed by Bob Tomson and produced by Bill Kenwright.

Since its inception in 1978, Jeff Wayne’s original double album has become a ground-breaking and bestselling musical work. With over with more than 15 million copies sold and 330 weeks in the UK Album Charts to date, a No. 1 album in 11 countries, a No. 1 music DVD, eight years of worldwide arena tours, and critical acclaim across the globe, the score includes the two 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 Wayne, 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. Essex and Wayne first worked together in 1973 when the latter became the singer’s producer and arranger; the classic song ‘Rock On’ was No. 1 in the US, received a Grammy nomination for Essex and won Wayne the UK NME Award for Best Single. Essex’s career boasts credits in theatre, film, TV, concerts and records. 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.

Singer-songwriter, actor, musician, film producer, composer and television writer Jimmy Nail first became a household name as Jimmy ‘Oz’ Osborne in BBC1’s hit series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Nail then wrote, produced and played the title role in the award-winning television series Spender. He created the BBC series Crocodile Shoes in which he played country and western singer Jed Shepherd. As a musician, Nail success with the No. 1 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 Theatre on Broadway.

Daniel Bedingfield, the New Zealand born British-raised singer-songwriter shot to stardom in 2001 with the No. 1 single ‘Gotta Get Thru This’. His musicianship earned him a BRIT award, six UK Top 10 singles and a debut album that sold more than four million copies worldwide. More recently, Bedingfield was a judge on the first series of The X Factor in New Zealand and became the winning mentor when his act Jackie Thomas won the competition. As a songwriter he co-wrote (and performed) ‘I Wanna Feel’ by SecondCity which debuted at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in 2014.

Heidi Range is the longest-serving member of the BRIT awarding-winning multi-platinum-selling British girl group Sugababes, where she enjoyed six UK No. 1 singles, two No. 1 albums, 18 UK Top 10 hits and five UK Top 10 albums. Range 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) and The Three Musketeers (Broadway Theatre, New York).

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 Curve Leicester and Fantine in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables.

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.

Tickets for The War of the Worlds are available HERE!

Readers may also be interested in:

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds – LG Arena, Birmingham and Touring – Review

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