The Martians are coming! The alien invasion starts at Hamilton Boys High School on Saturday in a joint stage production with Hamilton Girls' High School of Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds.
Based on the renowned H.G. Wells novel of the same name, the ambitious stage version incorporates the music from Wayne's 1978 album in a dramatised live performance that includes a giant Martian fighting machine towering over the stage.
With music from a live orchestra of students, hear all the album's top songs including The Eve of the War and Forever Autumn.
Two Hamilton schools are doing what no New Zealand school has done before, and recreating Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds.
The show opens on Saturday May 18 at the Hamilton Boys' High school hall and runs for five more shows until May 25.
At the start of the year the school started bidding for the rights to perform shows, and then got the green light to perform War of the Worlds.
HBHS music teacher Josiah Abbott, who is also helping direct the show, said many students had not seen the production of War of the Worlds, but the show was coming together nicely with full dress rehearsals this week.
"We explained the concept that it was based on the classic novel, and many of them had seen the Tom Cruise movie remake, which is not really that accurate," Mr Abbot said.
"We are using all the original Jeff Wayne music, and have quite an extensive set design as well."
The production's set includes a full size tripod "fighting machine," which in the novel the invading Martians used to terrorise Earth while keeping themselves safe.
"It has lasers and cannons that can all add to the drama," he said.
The tripod is predominantly stationary but does move up and down during the show.
Mr Abbott said the cast and orchestra is a large group, with close to 100 students taking part, while another group of students are also helping with sound, lighting and other technical aspects.
He said that giving other students from their media classes the chance to work on a live set was one of the best parts of the show, as they are able to apply the learning from school into the project.
"The students get a lot out of a production like this," Mr Abbott said.
"They get experience performing to a live audience and the opportunity to grow a range of skills."
"We have had a number of the senior boys from the film and television classes who have created and constructed the lights show and some of the other technical props."
Mr Abbott said the ticket sales have been going well with larger audiences than expected, but there are still some available on the Hamilton Boys' High School website.
Tickets are on sale at the Hamilton Boys' High Shop, with six performances throughout this weekend and next week. More details at: www.hbhs.school.nz/production-2019/.