Sunday, June 28, 2009

We kicked our way through autumn leaves

As a birthday treat my daughter took me to see Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds on Wed 24th June 2009 at the Cardiff CIA and it was a brilliant performance and night. Can it really be thirty years since we came back from Italy (where I worked for three years) and sat in the dark in the evenings listening to this iconic musical rendition of one of the best SF stories ever told? It only seems like a few weeks ago. Time and the human memory are strange things indeed. My children must have sat through dozens and dozens of performances of this double LP set until the records became so scratched I finally superseded them with CDs. The cast did an admirable job, including the stand-in Parson Nathaniel who took over the role at short notice as Shannon Noll had a family emergency I understand. Justin Hayward's voice was just as I remembered and as he sang 'Forever Autumn' the air was filled with multi-coloured paper tissue leaves as they dropped from the ceiling onto the crowd below, a nice touch! We managed to scrabble a few away for posterity. Then later on in the night when the Artilleryman had finished singing about 'A Brave New World' and he realised that his digging tunnels for the future of Mankind was futile, he threw a handleful of playing cards out into the audience and we both had one each. Jennifer Ellison impressed me with her singing and she played the part of Beth very well indeed. Chris Thompson (The voice of Humanity) gave a powerful performance too and on checking up on him I found that he used to be in Manfred Mann's Earthband. The musicians were spot on, especially the soloists and Jeff Wayne's conducting showed what energy the guy has. Finally, hearing Burton's voice and seeing the enhanced computer projection of his face just seemed to confirm what every Welshman knows, there'll never be a voice like his again. His opening lines never failed to send a shiver down my spine 30 years ago and I have to say that they did again the other night...
bwyso i mewn dangnefedd, Richard.

1 comment:

A kind and gorgeous stranger....o.0 said...

What a kind.....intelligent.....and extremely good looking daughter you have.....did I mention she was good looking btw....?