ULLAdubULLA or The Chances Of Anything Coming From Mars…

WayneWOTW-TNGThis year we planned a very special pre-Xmas treat for ourselves (ie me, Hubby and Tadpole – Choochie is too little for this one) – a treat we waited for an entire year – we bought three tickets to see Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds: The New Generation at the Newcastle Metro Arena.

There were a few “will we?/wont’ we?” moments as:

  1. The tickets were kind of pricey,
  2. It started at 8pm and finished late, meaning, that with travel included, it would be a VERY late night for Tadpole, who is usually in bed by 7.30pm, and
  3. It was on a school night.

We quickly decided, however, that we would do it, because:

  1. It’s the final arena tour, and we’d not get another chance to see it,
  2. We don’t often treat ourselves to something so extravagant, and
  3. Tadpole loves it as much as we do. In fact, he knows the whole score backwards.

As a one-off late night on a school night, for something so special, we decided it was worth it. And we weren’t wrong!

Tadpole was initially a little overwhelmed – the anticipation of waiting a whole year to see it, the massive size of the arena, and the excitement of actually being there in the arena where the music would be played, live, and directed by Jeff Wayne himself, well, Tadpole burst into tears for a moment or two. Not entirely unexpected for a little lad who is only just six years old and attending his first very concert, and one he absolutely adores. He quickly composed himself, however, and could barely contain himself when the show began.

The massive Martian descending right onto the stage was particularly impressive, but one of the most magical moments was during Forever Autumn (beautifully, hauntingly sung by Brian McFadden), when thousands of tissue paper leaves in red, gold and brown, came tumbling down onto the audience. During the interval, Tadpole collected a few of them to keep as momentos, and they are safely pressed between the pages of the programme we purchased (for £15 – a wee bit pricey, but, well, it was a once in a lifetime event for us, so we splashed out on one between us).

The look of total enchantment on Tadpole’s face, as he sat with his eyes glued to the stage and sang/hummed along with the entire score, made it worth every single penny. He was in raptures. And to be honest, so were we. It a a wonderful night out, and I am so glad Tadpole is of an age where he’s old enough that he’ll remember it.

Tadpole fell asleep in the car on the way home – and it’s hardly surprising, as we got home around 11.30pm – and then went straight to bed. The next morning, he got up for school, tired, but without complaining, saying he felt a little sleepy, but he’d had excellent dreams, and he hummed the music all through breakfast and on the way to school, where is proudly told his classmates about his exciting and grown up night out.

I think he had fun! 😉

A quick run-down of the cast:

  • Jeff Wayne – Composer / Arranger / Conductor / Producer
  • Liam Neeson – George Herbert, The Journalist (interactive hologram)
  • Brian McFadden – The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist
  • Jason Donovan – Parson Nathaniel
  • Shane Ward – The Artilleryman
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher – Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s Wife
  • Joseph Whelan – The Voice of Humanity
  • Anna-Marie Wayne – Carrie, The Journalist’s Fiancee (hologram)
  • Michael Falzon and Lilly Osborne – spoken words and understudies
  • Black Smoke Band
  • ULLAdubULLA String Orchestra

All were excellent, turning out brilliant performances that blew us all away. And at the end, Mr Wayne got a very well deserved standing ovation from his elated audience, which included one six-year-old little boy who couldn’t stop cheering and clapping.


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