Casting Announced for West End Debut of War of the Worlds | Playbill

News Casting Announced for West End Debut of War of the Worlds The War of the Worlds, a much-traveled stage version of Jeff Wayne's album of the same name that has played regular arena tours around the U.K. and the world for eight years, is to finally make its West End debut with a cast led by singer-songwriters Jimmy Nail and Daniel Bedingfield.

The two will be making their West End debuts alongside stage veteran and pop star David Essex.  The science-fiction musical begins performances Feb. 8, at the Dominion Theatre, prior to an official opening Feb. 17.

Also in the cast will be Heidi Range (longest serving member of the British girl group Sugababes), Michael Praed and Madalena Alberto. The score is played live and conducted onstage by Wayne himself. The show will include new music, a full supporting company of performers as well as video walls, the iconic Martian Fighting Machine, special effects and — in 3D holography — Liam Neeson as the Journalist.

Nail was last seen on stage in the Broadway run of the Sting-scored musical The Last Ship in 2014. He is well known for his TV apppearances as Jimmy ‘Oz’ Osborne in BBC1's "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet," for writing, producing and starring in the title role of "Spender," and for creating "Crocodile Shoes" in which he played a country and western singer named Jed Shepherd. The theme song became a chart hit, and Nail also had a No. 1 single with "Ain't No Doubt." He was seen on film as Magaldi in Alan Parker's film version of "Evita."

Bedingfield, the New Zealand born British-raised singer-songwriter shot to stardom in 2001 with the No. 1 single "Gotta Get Thru This," that was followed by five more U.K Top 10 singles including "If You’re Not The One" and "Never Gonna Leave Your Side" and a debut album that sold more than four million copies worldwide. He 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.

Essex featured on the original 1978 double album of "The War of The Worlds," playing The Artilleryman. Now, almost 40 years later and for the first time since its inception, he returns as The Voice of Humanity. In a long career, Essex has had 19 Top 40 UK Singles—including two No. 1's—and 16 Top 40 Albums. His theatre credits over the years have included the original London productions of Godspell and creating the role of Che in Evita. More recently, he starred in All the Fun of the Fair which is based on his hit own songs. Range is the longest serving member of the BRIT award winning girl group Sugababes, where she enjoyed six UK number one singles, two Number One albums, eighteen UK top ten hits and five UK top ten albums. She was also formally one of the original members of girl group Atomic Kitten.

Praed is probably still best known for his iconic portrayal as Robin of Loxley in the classic television series "Robin of Sherwood" and subsequently the U.S series "Dynasty." Stage appearances have included The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Pirates of Penzance (Drury Lane), Aspects of Love (Prince of Wales) and The Three Musketeers (Broadway Theatre, New York).

Alberto has previously been seen at the Dominion in 2014 in the title role of Evita. She has also played Grizabella in Cats at the London Palladium. Other musical theatre credits include Fantine in the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables.

The musical is based on H.G. Wells' novel, first published in 1898, that was a prototype for all modern science fiction. It describes the invasion of earth by ruthless Martians with superior intelligence, incredible machines and devastating weaponry.

Since its original release in 1978, Jeff Wayne's original double album has sold over 15 million copies and was featured for 330 weeks in the U.K. album charts to date. It has been a number one album in 11 countries, with two international hit singles and a number-one music DVD.

The West End run is being produced by Bill Kenwright and Jeff Wayne. Based on H.G. Wells' story, it is adapted by Doreen Wayne and features music by Wayne and lyrics by Gary Osborne, Paul Vigrass and Wayne. It will be directed by Bob Tomson.

To book tickets and for further information, contact the box office on 0845 200 7982 or visit

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