“No-one would have believed in the early years of the twentieth century that this world was being watched…”. There is nothing more alluring than a good story. When Orson Welles adapted H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, he wanted to create a thrilling radio drama that would ‘feel’ real. Ultimately, it felt so real that it caused hysteria amongst a public just getting used to the outside world invading their living rooms via the radio. Fast forward to 2016, and the internet has replaced the radio as the medium through which we make sense of the world. We remain just as susceptible … So there’s no better time to take another look, with a fresh perspective, at this classic radio play. Now, this legendary science fiction thriller is playfully reimagined by Rhum and Clay Theatre Company for our era of Fake News and ‘alternative facts’.
Rhum and Clay’s Matthew Wells and Julian Spooner tell us to expect laughter, visual thrills and modern technology in their retelling of the ultimate alien invasion story: when H.G. Wells published his classic sci-fi novel back in 1898 it’s doubtful he would have imagined his work being performed on stage over a century later. And certainly not in a production that includes a podcast!

Our fascination with this most iconic of sci-fi stories shows no sign of abating. Director Julian Spooner explains that this new production is “almost a show ‘about’ The War of the Worlds… We use the broadcast to ask why we believed in stories, including of alien invasion, and take a through line to the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election in the United States.”

This critically-acclaimed production has been produced by  HOME Manchester and Brighton Festival, and is soon to embark on a national tour.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Wed 22 Sep - Sat 2 Oct, HOME ,
2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN
, £20. Some concessions available.
Brad Lengden
Published on:
Mon 23 Aug 2021