THE WAR OF THE WORLDS COMES TO MAST MAYFLOWER STUDIOS IN JUNE 2021


Temporarily halted in their tracks by the pandemic, the aliens fight back in 2021!


Rhum and Clay will at last bring their critically acclaimed adaptation of HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds to MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton. This follows sold-out runs in London and in Edinburgh.


“No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space....”


But we did believe. We believed that Martians landed in New Jersey. We believed a water tower was an alien war machine. We believed a man walked on the moon. Perhaps we will believe anything…everything …


Inspired by Orson Welles’ classic radio play almost 80 years to the day since the original broadcast was reported to have caused widespread panic in its listeners- this legendary icon of science fiction is reimagined for our era of deliberate disinformation, ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’. An era where mistrust and fear are routinely stoked by the purveyors of ‘news’ and the truth has become an ever-harder concept to identify. The War of the Worlds slips between 20th and 21st century lives and listeners as if moving the dial on a radio: atmospheric and disorienting.


Rhum and Clay are renowned for the humour and physicality of their productions as well as their ability to create beautiful, visually textured on-stage worlds. They are joined here by Isley Lynn, writer of the extraordinary sexual odyssey Skin a Cat, currently being adapted for television. Her powerful contemporary voice offers a welcome counterpoint to a story that originated in the male-dominated society of the 19th and early 20th centuries.


The War of the Worlds explores our inability to separate fact from fiction and our active complicity in the process of being hoodwinked: lies dressed as truth and truth presented as fiction. But even fake events cause real reactions. With references ranging from H.G Wells and Orson Welles via Jeff Wayne and a nod to Tom Cruise, this intense, unsettling and raucously entertaining reinvention of the original alien invasion myth shows that in the darkest of times, the truth is a very precious commodity.


Recent Rhum and Clay productions include a tour-de-force one-man adaptation of Dario Fo’s classic, Mistero Buffo which won the Stage Award for Acting Excellence at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. Their previous show Testosterone - the true story of a trans man’s search for a new male identity- is still touring worldwide, three years after its first performance.




Tickets for THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (2 - 5 June) are available from the MAST box office on 02380 711833 or mayflowerstudios.org.uk