The War of the Worlds

There have been many adaptations of the book War Of The Worlds by H. G. Wells,

The multi-talented cast are so high energy and enthusiastic it’s hard not to be drawn into their farce-like interpretation of the story.

the ultimate sci-fi tale of Martians coming to invade Earth. Orson Welles, Jeff Wayne and Steven Spielberg have all famously turned at their hand at it, but at this year's Brighton Fringe the award-winning performance group The Pantaloons presented their very own unique adaptation of this famous piece of literature.

Whilst the audience took their seats the cast of four actors were already on stage, and warmly welcomed everyone as they arrive. Then, once the show started, three of the four cast members picked up instruments to begin the opening song which immediately created an amusing atmosphere; we quickly realised that this will be the story of War Of The Worlds with a comic twist. Wells' story is then performed with the four performers playing all the characters. I thought this was going to be quite confusing trying to keep up with the quick changes, but it was done incredibly well and it was incredibly funny as a result, especially when the odd moustache kept falling off.

The cast are not only good at acting, they’re also very good at improvising, especially when there was a little technical problem with the sound during the show, and their ad libs to the audience throughout the show were very quick and smart. Even though The Pantaloons' version of War Of The Worlds remains faithful to the original book, humorous references are made to popular sci-fi films, including Men In Black and ET. When the Martians appear in the show, the effect is done simply, yet effectively, with just a blackout and a suspended swinging light bulb whilst dramatic music is played by the cast. It doesn’t sound like it should work, but it really does.

The multi-talented cast are so high energy and enthusiastic it’s hard not to be drawn into their farce-like interpretation of the story and they work together extremely well in this ensemble piece. Unfortunately, this was the very last performance of The Pantaloons' War Of The Worlds or I would highly recommend seeing it.

Reviews by Louisa Lord

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Look on in abject terror as The Pantaloons invade the stage in this funny yet faithful adaptation of H G Wells sci-fi classic. They use musical instruments, puppetry and, um, enthusiasm to recreate deadly heat-rays, giant fighting machines, squidgy tentacled Martians and interplanetary warfare on an epic scale. The chances of success? A million to one... “Part alternative rock band, part thespian... wholly charming.” (The Times)

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