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LONDON Review: War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience

When looking into Theatre Talk Boston’s bi-annual London trip we always search for what immersive theatre the city has to offer and dotdotdot never disappoints. After attending their first experience SOMNAI back in the summer of 2018 I knew one of our first stops had to be their new: “Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience.”

Audiences are thrown headfirst into the battle between Martian and human, as they take part in the war and fight for themselves.

Walking into an outfitted warehouse in Central London, I didn’t know I was in for one of the most exciting theatrical experiences of my life. Founded in 2017 by Andrew McGuinness, dotdotdot is known for creating entire worlds using breathtaking scenery, live actors, and virtual reality. Based on Jeff Wayne’s iconic 1978 rock-adaption of War of the Worlds–H. G. Wells’ world has vividly come to life. Wayne’s album has had a huge influence in pop culture over the past 30 years spawning a wildly successful arena tour. With this new piece it brings the scope down to a very intimate level.   


The two-hour experience takes you from room to room interacting with actors using a technology called “free roam virtual reality” where you are given a headset and are fully immersed in the digital world of the show. Tom Brittney, Anna-Marie Wayne, David Burnett and theatre favorite Carrie Hope Fletcher round up the digital cast who accompany you on the journey to stop London from being invaded by destructive Martians. 


In the midst of mass evacuation, audiences beg and barter with the shifty dockworker Perry, for their place in a boat out of burning London, and their only chance of survival.

The cast of live actors are fully in the spirit of the show and really are the heart of the entire experience. I was blown-away by the sheer scope of the project as well as immense detail of each set. From a full Victorian living room, to the sewers of London, to a historic movie theatre–I urge you to find a piece of theatre in London right now with greater production design. 


Fitted with two separate bars as well as a full restaurant, I can’t think of a greater way to spend an evening or afternoon with friends. My group that I entered with was a perfect size of six and we all become close as you must work together. If this review is not evident enough, you do not want to miss War of the Worlds–it is a total must see. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 Stars


'Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience' has been extended multiple times due to popularity and is now on sale through March 2020. Tickets:


Reviewed for Theatre Talk Boston by Kobi Kassal


11.24.2019

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