Posted in review

Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds: The Musical Drama

“The chances of anything man-like on Mars are a million to one.”


Blurb: “Marrying the suspense, drama and urgency of Wells’ original novel with Jeff Wayne’s rousing and flamboyant score, Audible’s new and exclusive dramatisation uses action, narration, original music and evocative sound design to immerse listeners in a world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate.”

War Of The Worlds is something that I have heard about many times, primarily Jeff Wayne’s adaptation, but never actually experienced. I’ve said before that sci-fi tends to be more miss than hit for me so it’s something that I’ve tended to bypass at every opportunity. Until one day when I was scrolling through Audible and got an advert for a new musical drama version featuring some big names such as Michael Sheen and Taron Egerton.

This new adaptation, exclusive to Audible, features the musical scores from Jeff Wayne’s incredibly popular version of the book by H.G.Wells. I am a little bit more familiar with the music so felt that kind of rush you get when experiencing something you love. My only real gripe is that it’s pushed as a “musical drama” but this is slightly misleading. It’s more of an audio drama: the story being narrated with sound manipulated to fill in the gaps and immerse the reader, but the lyrics are not present.

The manipulation of sound for this adaptation is truly incredible. The familiar elements from Jeff Wayne pop up when all hope really does feel lost. Where the visual is lost, sounds allow the listener’s mind to run away with them. I found myself completely hooked the whole way through.

Michael Sheen takes on the role of the journalist who narrates the events of the alien invasion. Without a doubt he is the driving force and just utterly phenomenal. It’s a testament to how good an actor he is that even in voice work he was able to convey one man’s determination to simply stay alive and get back to his wife, voiced by Anna-Marie Wayne. She is equally as brilliant and you really get this sense of her also just trying to stay alive long enough to get back to her husband. It really felt like I was listening to something that actually happened. It was raw, tense, and just brilliant.

If you have an audible subscription, or are willing to get a free trial, or just make a one-off payment, I highly recommend you spend your time listening to this.

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A proud Hufflepuff who talks about books and also tries to write them.

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