LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Composer Jeff Wayne
By James Whittington, Sunday 24th May 2009 It may come as a bit of a shock to some, but Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War The War Of The Worlds has been with us for over 30 years. To celebrate this fact and to coincide with a new tour of this musical masterpiece we spoke to Jeff himself about his love of this piece of music and his plans for the future. No one would have believed what he had to say! ZH: So then, here we are celebrating over 30 years of your musical version of The War Of The Worlds, does it feel that it’s been that long? JW: Yes it does!! But in a good way, actually. The world and life personally has changed so much, TWOTW remains a very close friend that has travelled with me during it all. ZH: You’re taking it out on the road for a third tour later in the year, do you still get a buzz when performing it live? JW: There are two stages to each new tour we do:
1. The pre-production which is the phase where new ideas, testing new technologies, meeting with potential new cast members, and anything else that the newest production will have in it.
2. Performing TWOTW. As the conductor, I have the best seat in the house- I’m in the middle of all the music and live performances from the guest artists, and all around me are these incredible technological ingredients. For 2 hours or so, I feel like a hovercraft – my feet don’t return to earth until I’m back in my dressing room after each show. ZH: Have you made any dramatic changes to the show this time around? JW: There is a range of new ingredients - one major one is from the world of illusion, levitation specifically and it involves one of our new guest artists – Jennifer Ellison in the role of Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s wife. There are a range of other new special effects, and for the first time we have our own travelling stage which has allowed us to re-design our stage, and conceal things that previously had to reside on top of it. ZH: Why did you re-cast some of the vocal talent for this tour? JW: This is our 3rd UK tour, and after the UK we play shows in Holland and Germany, before we head out to the US and Dubai. In 2007 we’ve also played Australia and New Zealand over a 5-week period. Every tour there have been cast changes – sometimes because of the availability of certain performers, or, as in the case of down under, 3 cast members who were major names there came in for that tour because our promoters felt that they would add extra value to TWOTW. At all times, we been so fortunate that no matter who has played a given role, they’ve all been superb and given their own individual slant on the part they’ve played. ZH: Will this be the last time you’ll be taking your musical version of The War Of The Worlds on tour? If so would you allow anyone else to perform it live? JW: At this juncture I’m firmly attached, but you never know. What tomorrow might offer. Recently we’ve been asked to explore a west end production by a major west end producer – that type of production would have to be created for the scale and expectancy of a west end production. Having a 10-piece band and 46-member string orchestra with me conducting wouldn’t work in that context, so it’s about judging each production on their own merits. ZH: You’ve got a really cool piece of merchandise being produced for sale at each gig, that is a CD recording of the actual event. Was that a hard decision to make for it may capture any orchestral or vocal errors? JW: Good point, but isn’t that what ‘live’ performance is all about? It doesn’t matter whether you’re a band, a solo artist or TWOTW – if we goof, unlike a recording studio, you can’t stop the show and announce to the audience that we’re going to take that bit again! But that is the whole adrenalin rush of live performing – to try and be perfect every show. ZH: We heard a few years back that a movie based on your musical piece was in production, is it nearing completion yet? JW: That’s the CGI feature film we had started production on before TWOTW alive on stage! Came along. We’re hoping to return to it from next year when these next tours are completed. We’re not a huge producing company, and our team is very hands on, so touring and producing a major feature film at the same time simply hasn’t been possible. But the tours themselves have benefited by having some 100 minutes of high definition CGI that runs on our 100-foot wide x 20 foot high screen in perfect sync with the live performances (including some changes added in this year) that without the year or so of R+D on the film side, would never have been ready for the first tour in 2006. ZH: So when the tour is over what plans do you have? Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions? JW: Aside from putting energy back into the CGI film, I have another musical work – The Call Of The Wild by American author Jack London that I’ve started sketching out already. I’m hoping to have enough expanse of time to realize the full potential of that wonderful story. TWOTW never stops to amaze me with new projects opening up regularly, so whatever I say today, may have to be re-explored later on, so it’s best to just leave it there! ZH: And for the future, how about a tour of one your other major musical pieces, Spartacus? JW: It’s been a most interesting thing that since our tours of the TWOTW started in 2006, it’s probably been one of the most asked questions about whether Spartacus might become another multi-media live arena tour. Aside from certain creative ingredients to the score that I want to re-visit, I most definitely think Spartacus would excite live audiences in its own, unique way. ZH: Jeff Wayne, thank you very much.
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds is on tour throughout the UK in June. Click here for the latest information.
MORE INTERVIEWS Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021
Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.
Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?
It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.
HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?
AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.
HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.
HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?
SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!
Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.
HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.
The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?
MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.
HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?
GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?
CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.
HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?
SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.
Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!
HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?
SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.
HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?
SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.
HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?
RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actor?
DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.
HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?
FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.
HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Wednesday 29th September
Sunday 26th September
Friday 24th September