Brighton Festival 2019Public booking opens: Fri 24 Feb, 9am

Everything you need to know about The War of the Worlds by Rhum and Clay

The classic science fiction story, The War of the Worlds is playfully reimagined by Rhum and Clay Theatre Company and comes to Worthing’s Connaught Theatre in May as part of Brighton Festival. 

Here are a few interesting facts about the show: 

  • Born in Paris at the École Jacques Lecoq in 2010 by Julian Spooner and Matthew Wells, Rhum and Clay Theatre Company is currently based in London at the New Diorama Theatre.
  • In 2018, co-Artistic Director Julian Spooner followed in the footsteps of the likes of Daniel Kitson, Monica Dolan and Phoebe Waller-Bridge by winning a coveted Stage Award for Acting Excellence for his performance in Mistero Buffo.
  • Rhum and Clay’s productions are cinematic in the telling, playing with overlapping narratives, flashbacks and montages that cumulatively create beautiful, visually textured on-stage worlds.
  • The War of the Worlds by Rhum and Clay is a remarkable adaption inspired by H.G Well’s novel which was published in 1897. It’s one of the first fictional stories about a conflict between mankind and extra-terrestrial life.
  • In 1938, Orson Welles’ created a thrilling radio drama adaptation of H.G Well’s novel. When aired as part of a CBS drama series, the Mercury Theatre on the Air, it caused public panic amongst listeners, who were just getting used to the outside world invading their living rooms via the radio. 
  • Fast forward to 2020, and the internet has replaced the radio as the medium through which we make sense of the world. Rhum and Clay connect Welles’ broadcast with a modern-day podcaster who is researching an old family secret. The cast of four actors takes the audience on a journey through time, from an era when breaking news was shared live on-air to today’s clickbait headlines and Twitter trends.


  • Playfully reimagined for the fake news generation the show will leave audiences questioning the grey area between truth and fiction and the dangerously seductive power of a good story.
  • The play takes the form of a series of news broadcasts, using a recording from the 1938 radio drama, as well as references to Steven Spielberg’s 2005 film adaption.
  • In Welles’ broadcast, the aliens land in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. For research, Julian Spooner visited the town, which has a café dedicated to the broadcast and a monument claiming that in 1938 up to 1 million people believe the Martian invasion was real.
  • The ever so popular tale has been adapted by the likes of Spielberg in 2005 and inspired Jeff Wayne’s 1978 concept album. The latest TV adaption is BBC one’s three-part series starring Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall and Robert Carlyle.

Find out more about Rhum and Clay