The War of the Worlds from Rhum and Clay

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Off-West End - Shows

Rhum and Clay will premiere a radical adaptation of HG Wells' The War of the Worlds at New Diorama Theatre from 8 January to 9 February 2019.
The War of the Worlds at New Diorama Theatre

Image: New Diorama Theatre

The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English writer H. G. Wells.

It was first presented to the public in 1897, serialised in Pearson's Magazine, and published in 1898.

It was adapted in a 1938 radio broadcast narrated and directed by Orson Welles.

Since much of Welles' adaptation was presented as a news bulletin, it became infamous for causing panic since listeners thought the programme to be real.

Inspired by Welles' adaptation - 80 years almost to the day since the original broadcast - this icon of science fiction is to be reimagined by Rhum and Clay for our era of Fake News and 'alternative facts'.

The War of the Worlds will be at New Diorama Theatre from 8 January to 9 February 2019.

Rhum and Clay have become renowned for the visceral physicality of their productions as well as their ability to create beautiful, visually textured on-stage worlds.

In War of the Worlds they have created layer upon layer of story, weaving in and out of different time frames and narratives as if moving the dial on a radio: atmospheric, exciting and disorienting.

Joining Rhum and Clay co-artistic directors Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells on this production is Isley Lynn writer of the extraordinary sexual odyssey Skin a Cat for which she was nominated for Best New playwright at The Offies, and which is currently being adapted for television.

Her powerful contemporary voice offers a welcome counterpoint to a story originating in the male-dominated society of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Recent Rhum and Clay productions include a tour-de-force one-man adaptation of Dario Fo's classic Mistero Buffo which generated massive attention and praise and won the Stage Award for Best Performance at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe.

Their previous show Testosterone - the true story of a trans man recalling his transition and his search for a new male identity, is still touring worldwide three years after its first performance.

Now, in The War of the Worlds, Rhum and Clay explore our inability to separate fact from fiction and show the power of fake events to cause real reactions.

With references ranging from H.G Wells and Orson Welles via Jeff Wayne and a nod to Tom Cruise, this intense, unsettling and raucously entertaining reinvention of the original alien invasion myth shows that in the darkest of times, the truth is a very precious commodity.


"No-one would have believed in the early years of the twentieth century that this world was being watched ...”

But they did believe.

They believed that Martians landed in New Jersey.

They believed a water tower was an alien war machine.

They believed a man walked on the moon.

They believed everything the internet trolls told them ...

Inspired by H.G. Wells' sci-novel and Orson Welles' radio adaptation,The War of the Worlds wrestles with the boundaries of truth in a thrilling broadcast of the end of the world.


Author: Inspired by H.G. Wells' sci-fi novel and Orson Welles' radio adaptation
Production: Rhum & Clay


New Diorama Theatre
15-16 Triton Street
Regents Place


From: Tuesday 8 January 2019

Closes: Saturday 9 February 2019


Standard: £15

Concessions: £3 (Job Seekers Allowance)

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ActDrop full listing for The War of the Worlds
Rhum and Clay website

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