The War Of The Worlds comes to Halifax’s Hal-Con
November 4th, 2016 - 8pm (one night only)
The World Trade & Convention Centre, Summit Suite, 8th floor.
A Hal-Con Special event, sponsored by Strange Adventures Comics & Curiosities.
Orson Welles caused a nationwide panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth.
Orson Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells’ 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio. “War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause.
The show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. A voice announced: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.”
Sunday evening in 1938 was prime-time in the golden age of radio, and millions of Americans had their radios turned on. But most of these Americans were listening to ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy “Charlie McCarthy” on NBC and only turned to CBS at 8:12 p.m. after the comedy sketch ended and a little-known singer went on. By then, the story of the Martian invasion was well underway.
For one night only, Halifax’s own Eastern Front Theatre will recreate the infamous broadcast in it’s entirety at a Hal-Con Special Event. A cast of one dozen actors will perform the original script in full, complete with live sound effects and music, taking you back to the CBS studios that very night.
“I have long been a fan of not only the script,” says EFT’s Artistic Producer Jeremy Webb. “But also of the whole story behind it. To get a chance to give Hal-Con attendees and the Halifax public a chance to step back in time is very cool.”
“We will be attempting to faithfully recreate that entire broadcast,” Webb continues. “You could essentially close your eyes and you’d feel like you were listening to the radio in the 1930’s.”
Webb has made one concession to the current year, re-assigning three roles to women. “It’s 2016 and I couldn’t quite stick to the original concept of an all-male cast. I wouldn’t want to. Three roles have been given to female actors and the play will be better for it.”
The cast includes Jeremy Webb, Jamie Bradley, Jake Willett, Shelley Thompson, Andrew Chandler, Dave Rossetti, Keelin Jack, Mauralea Austin, Dan Bray, Ian Gilmore
Sound designer Michael Doherty has generously given the rights to his pre-existing sound design for the play, which was originally designed for The City Playhouse, Vaughn Ontario, directed by Sam Rosenthal. Sylvia Bell will be operating sound that night.
This is a ticketed Special Event that takes place during Hal-Con. You do NOT need to be a Hal-Con pass-holder to purchase a seat. Your Hal-Con pass does not give you entry.
Tickets are just $20 and are available online, in advance, from tickethalifax.com.