Sunday, December 23

Jeff Wayne's The War Of the Worlds Click for more info

In a day of gratuitous free-riding, I also managed to get myself invited to the O2 Arena to watch a musical production of The War of the Worlds. We were sat in one of the corporate boxes so had a fast-track entry, a wonderful view, a private suite and food (although that last bit was totally non-vegetarian at first).

It was also my first time at the newly refurbished O2 dome thing, and I was mildly impressed. The Arena is obviously the main draw; I don't see myself coming to eat, hang or watch a film here. As a concert venue it was pretty neat though.

But I was here to listen to some good music and the WOTW production itself was pretty damn fantastic. Jeff Wayne managed to seamlessly combine the classical orchestra with modern rock to retell HG Wells' story about alien invasion, yet it all felt so comfortably familiar and accessibly. I was tapping my foot for most of the performance. As a bonus we got light and special effects, but for me they were all pretty superfluous.

There were a few things I found odd about the actual storytelling though; they decided to concentrate on and give time to some very dry parts of the story and kinda jumped to the ending a bit too quickly for my taste. But since the music was so damn good I didn't really mind - if I wanted to hear the story in any detail I'll go watch Tom Cruise instead (or read the book).

All in all a brilliant night out, and especially because of the whole box thing. I expect to be still humming the instantly recognisable hook (you'll know it when you hear it too) for at least a week more.