On Monday 26 June, Year 9 and 10 secondary drama students put on a spectacular show based on the classic science fiction novel “The War of the Worlds” by the English author H.G. Wells; it was one of the first popular novels concerning the concept of a conflict between mankind and extra-terrestrial beings.
St George’s theatrical adaptation of “The War of the Worlds” was inspired by the 1938 Radio drama by Orson Welles, which became famous for allegedly causing mass panic as listeners believed that an alien invasion was actually taking place. This performance poses the question: “what if we discovered that the original novel was not, in fact, a fanciful story but a work of non-fiction, based upon genuine scientific research”?
All students involved with the productions performed extremely well; they thrilled the audience with their superb acting, singing and dancing skills and, for the first time, performed alongside a live band. The band, comprising of St George’s staff and a senior student, revived an arrangement inspired by Jeff Wayne’s musical version. They did a tremendous job of conveying the emotions of various characters with their progressive rock combinations. The performance also featured plenty of original interpretation by the students, such as dancers draped in red ribbon to depict Martian weed.
Playing with the time-based aspects of a show that features both the past and present day, characters from the present day interacted with those from the past, as they encountered objects from the past such as the boat “Thunderchild”, a sample of red weed from Mars and the artilleryman’s diary. The concept of the “fourth-wall” added another layer of complexity, as H. G. Wells and his wife conversed with the audience throughout the play, sharing their experiences and answering modern-day questions.
The production of this original piece of theatre was directed by Ms Williams, Head of the Arts. She praised the students for their creativity in adapting and producing their own material throughout the play.