SILICON VALLEY, CA-- Nobody can review one of the best Radio Theatre's scripts ever written as is the script of THE WAR of the WORLDS, considered an "INFAMOUS SCI-FI-CLASSIC, but we will review its presentation as a Stream, on video by THE TABARD THEATRE on the nights of October 30-1st of November.
The script for the radio play THE WAR of the WORLDS was based on the Novel by the same name written by H.G.WELLS. The novel was adapted by ORSON WELLS as a radio play, and was broadcast on The Mercury Theatre radio program on the night of October 30th 1938. It is a fact, that when many of the radio listeners heard about a Martian flying saucer on a farm field, and a Martian invasion, descending in New York on the broadcast, because the script descriptions of the action by the plays' characters and the sounds of the action were so realistic, that many people listening to the radio broadcast thought that it was really happening, and panicked.
The reason may have been that in 1938 there was no television and radio was the sole mean of entertainment for most people and their source of news. So, many of those people who panicked with the Martian invasion, may have been people dialing their radio searching for news, and when they heard the radio program, with the play in progress, they believed that the play was a newscast of what was really happening.
Watching THE TABARD's THEATRE online streaming of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, on October 30th was an interesting experience. The broadcast was based on the 1938 Radio Script by HOWARD E. KOCH, also based on the novel by H.G.WELLS. The Radio Play was directed by TABARD's Executive Director JONATHAN RHYS WILLIAMS and featuring actors: RODRIGO BRETON, DREW CAMPBELL, JERRY LLOYD, LESLIE LLOYD, and KYLE SMITH.
Their reading of their individual scripts was realistic. It includes roles as News Broadcasters covering the invasion event, people seeing the event and describing in words what was happening in front of the eyes, alternated with the Ballroom music of a hotel dance. The pace of the script was wonderful. The dialogue descriptive, an the intonation of each one of the actors describing what is happening and what they are watching was superb.
In his debut with TABARD, as professor Pearson, RODRIGO BRETON, a Bay Area actor, was convincing in his role as a professor who is trying to explain, to the journalists and to the radio audience listening to the invasion, what is happening based on his scientific evidence. DREW CAMPBELL another seasoned actor played effectively the role of Carl Phillips/Captain Lansing. Allowing us, the listeners to share his shock, his emotions, and try to imagine what he was watching. LESLIE LLOYD, better known as the Director of TABARD's production of Miracle Worker, an actor and the only woman in the show, represented The Announcer and other female voices, describing the ball to those listening her broadcast. Other actors describe the horrific happenings effectively along with Mr.Wilmuth/the Stranger, played by JERRY LLOYD, another seasoned actor of stage, and on the big and an small screen for 50 years, and KYLE SMITH, another actor who on that night, made his debut with TABARD, playing the parts of Harry McDonald/Harry Voight, which required a fast change of emotions. SMITH also expressed his appreciation to TABARD, and everybody in the audience for keeping theatre alive during these challenging times.
The direction of JONATHAN RHYS WILLIAMS, and the Lighting design or CARSTEN JOESTER, the Sound design or EDWARD LEE, the Costume design of MARILYN WATTS, the Assistant lighting design of JACKSON LEUENBERGER and the Video Direction of JASON ALLEN and Sound Operator ROBERT LEWIS, made the production worth watching.
Speaking from the point of view of the audience watching the production on their televisions, or their computers at home, for the WAR of the WORLD to have been able to make us experience the Martian invasion, we needed to HEAR IT ONLY. Watching the actors standing on the stage reading their scripts robbed us completely of the effect we needed to experience the drama. The POWER of Radio Theatre, is that it makes its listeners IMAGINE the described action in their own minds, based on the dialogue and sounds. So maybe, if instead of watching the performers, we had watched the interior of a house with one of two people LISTENING to a radio broadcast and reacting to it, it could have allow us to concentrate more in their descriptions of the action and help us imagine it. At the end, the actors could have been presented to the audience, giving their names and the roles they played.
THE NEXT TABARD's online streaming will be TRYING, a two character moving play that will run from November 6 to November 22. You can order tickets by calling 408 679-2330 or online at https://www.tabardtheatre.org/vbotickets/.