In the unfathomable darkness of space, an invisible missile starts its journey to Earth from Mars... 

A Northern Stage production
By H.G. Wells
Adapted by Laura Lindow
Directed by Elayce Ismail

Book Now  Reviews  Tour  Behind the scenes  Cast and Creatives  Access

Following a sell-out run in January, The War of The Worlds is back by popular demand!

In the unfathomable darkness of empty space, an invisible missile starts its journey to Earth from Mars. And another. And another. And another...

Ten missiles fired at the unsuspecting Earth and rushing through the empty gulf of space. Ten missiles carrying an invading force of Martians, their intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic. Hour by hour, day by day, closer and closer the Martians come, ready for war and the massacre of mankind.

The War of the Worlds charts the fortunes of a band of survivors as they become refugees in their own country, forced to flee from an unknown and unprovoked enemy, and battle against the devastation and destruction of their planet. Northern Stage's vivid and dynamic production relocates H.G. Wells' iconic novel to the North East of England, in an inventive re-telling of a sci-fi classic.

Book Now


Laura Lindow’s adaptation of the sci-fi classic is a thrilling parable of complacency that allows a brilliant cast to shine” 

The Guardian ★★★★

“What an absolute blast! Terrific performances, an exciting script and a wonderfully eerie soundtrack characterise a production in which all the elements seem precision engineered.” 

Newcastle Journal ★★★★

“HG Wells’ classic sci-fi novel brought vividly to life with imaginative storytelling” 

The Stage ★★★★  


After the sell-out success of The War of The Worlds' tour in the spring, the production will be touring once again to 11 venues across the North East, Cumbria and Scottish Borders this autumn.

Find out more here.

Behind the scenes

Watch the trailer:

Production images:

The War of The Worlds

Cast and Creatives

Elayce Ismail - Director

Elayce Ismail is a freelance theatre director, the RTYDS Associate Director at Northern Stage and an Associate Artist of Boundless Theatre. She was awarded the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors 2014/2015, under which she was Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. Prior to this, she was a Jerwood Assistant Director at the Young Vic.

Elayce was founder and co-Artistic Director/Producer of Offstage Theatre from 2005-2009 and trained at LISPA. She has directed theatre and opera for companies including the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Young Vic, Gate, Soho Theatre, Royal Court, The Yard and Deutsches Theater Berlin. She has directed puppetry for companies including Kneehigh and the Unicorn Theatre, and performed with companies including Oily Cart/RSC and Complicite/ENO.

Direction includes: Girls (HighTide/Talawa/Soho Theatre); Spooky Action at a Distance (Royal Court/RWCMD/Gate); The Iphigenia Quartet: Chorus, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco (Gate); Stay Another Song, Simpatico (Young Vic); Nanjing (The Yard); The Lost Ring (NT/Deutsches Theater Berlin).


Mariam Rezaei - Composer

Mariam Rezaei is a writer, performer and improviser and works predominantly with the piano, voices, turntables and electronics. 

She is Composer in Residence at the Literary and Philosophical Library, Newcastle, Artistic Director of The Old Police House (and Ensemble) and Bradford Scratch Orchestra.

Mariam was Music Director in Theatre for ZENDEH’s ‘Flock’, ‘Cinema’ and ‘Transit’, Curious Monkey’s ‘Beats North’, Open Clasp’s ‘Jumping Puddles’, Northern Stage’s ‘Here Is The News…’  and ran music for three shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2015 (Zendeh ‘Cinema’, Northern Stage's ‘Here Is The News..’ and Live Theatre's ‘Your Aunt Fanny’).

In 2017, Mariam has spent time developing work with Simon Startin at RSC’s ‘The Other Place’, composing music for Jean Genet’s ‘The Balcony’ and just returned from a rural Scottish tour with Plan B’s dance show ‘CITIZEN’.  Mariam composed for David Almond’s adaptation of ‘A Song for Ella Grey’, based on the ancient tale of Orpheus. Mariam worked with young people, composing, performing and recording music for a pre-recorded one-woman show which received several four star reviews. Mariam also wrote the music for Dan Bye’s touring new one man theatre show ‘Instruction For A Border Crossing’ for Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and Live Theatre's 'From The Sky To Your Hands'. She worked on sound design for Tom Well's 'DRIP', which was well received on a national tour, October 2017.

Laura Lindow - Writer

Laura Lindow is an award winning Scottish writer/director based in the North East of England.

During 20 years of making theatre in the region, she has established a reputation for creating work that is lyrical yet punchy with a serious sense of play.

As Associate Director for Open Clasp Theatre Company, directing credits include: Sugar (2017 preview), Don’t Forget The Birds (for national tour 2018) and Key Change: winner of Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh Award’ 2015 with subsequent New York transfer, the Critics’ Pick in New York Times & winner of Best Overall Event at the 2016 Journal Culture Awards. Additionally Key Change was recorded in 2017 via a commission from The Space and was streamed as part of the International UN Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls, reaching a global audience of over 10,000.

Other credits include: Beyond The End of the Road (writer) for November Club; Ghostfish (writer) a reading, developed as an international writers exchange with Live Theatre Newcastle (Live Lab) and Teater Katapult Denmark, Hey Presto by Nadia Shireen (writer of stage adaptation) for New Writing North; The Terrorist’s Guide To Romance (writer) for Alphabetti Theatre; The Important Man (director) for Cap-A-Pie Theatre Co; Preggers (director) for Curious Monkey; Up & Out, Christmas Sprout (writer) for Northern Stage; then LEAP (writer/solo performer) for The Lowry, Ovalhouse, Cheshire Spot On & Lancashire Touring Network; Donna Disco & Brown Bird (director) for Chicken Pox Fox, Heartbreak Soup (writer/director) for The Empty Space (Guardian, Pick of the Week, Total Theatre Award nominee)

Laura was shortlisted for Journal Culture Awards Writer of the Year 2009.

She is a Visiting Lecturer for Performing Arts at The University of Northumbria, in addition to performing as Dr Lulu McDoo (Lead Clown Doctor for Tin Arts) working with hospitalized children and their families.

Laura is a proud member of The Royal Court Writers Group (North).

Jack Lloyd - Phillip Ridley

Jack, originally from the North West, came to Newcastle in 2013 to study a BA in Drama and Applied theatre at Northumbria University. He went on to train as an actor at the Newcastle Theatre Royal through Project A. He was nominated as one of the top 20 graduates to graduate from a drama school in the 2017 Spotlight Showcase, competing at the Underglobe. Since then, he has made his professional debut at Alphabetti Theatre playing the lead role in Gary Kitching’s new play Wilfred, a piece made in partnership with The Discovery Museum to commemorate the 100th Anniversary since WW1. Jack is thrilled to now be joining the cast of ‘The War of the Worlds’ and to be playing the role of Ridley.

Credits: (Wilfred) Wilfred Alphabetti theatre, 2017 Spotlight Prize Nominee, The Underglobe, (Brink, Joey, Barry) Road Project A, (Various) Captain Amazing Project A, (Iachimo) Cymbeline Project A, (Eddy) Greek Project A, (Various) Macbeth Top Box Productions (Various) Romeo and Juliet Top Box Productions. 

Luke Maddison - Barker / Boots

Luke has gained roles in stage and screen as well as radio and most recently Opera. he made his first television appearance in an episode of 'Inspector George Gently' (BBC), working alongside Jim Moir and Martin Shaw. He was also very proud to be a part of the Northern stage production of 'Leaving' in 2017 by Paddy Campbell and Curious Monkey.

Recent credits include: Jack - Supernova - (Live theatre); Sam - Don't go outside (TwentySeven Productions); Michael - Geordie the musical (revival); Dan - Goodbye fish (Live theatre); Milo/steve/simon/Tom - Leaving by Paddy Campbell (Curious Monkey/Northern stage); Leopold - Der Rosenkavalier (Opera North); Captain Simon Taylor - 1916 no turning back (Durham Gala); Danny - Galway Girl (Cloud 9 theatre); Josh - The frights response plays (Alphabetti theatre); Michael Cumisky - Geordie the musical world Premiere; Eric Parker - A Nightingale Sang (Less is More); John Foster - Dangle in the dust (Canny craic Prod); Narrator (V.O) - Long Way Home'

Charlotte Ryder - Jill Ridley

Charlotte is originally from Newcastle and has been performing in the region since the age of eight years old. She attended the University of Stirling in Scotland where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in English with Film and Media. She is a member of the National Youth Theatre and trained at the full-time professional actor training course 'Project A' at Newcastle Theatre Royal, graduating in July where she appeared as 'Clare' in their production of Jim Cartwright's 'Road'. She has recently returned from filming a short in Scotland with the Scottish BAFTA award-winning director Sarah Grant, which will tour festivals later this year, as well as recording with the Glasgow based audio production company Tin Can Audio. She will appear in Tin Can Audio's latest fantasy/sci-fi audio drama podcast 'Middle/Below' which is to be released in April 2018. Charlotte is extremely excited to be a part of this production of 'The War Of The Worlds' and is absolutely delighted to be making her debut here at Northern Stage.

Lauren Waine - Mo 

Lauren is a recent graduate from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) where she graduated with a First Class Hons degree in Acting for which she was awarded The ‘Laurence Olivier Bursary Award’ and she is very excited to be making her Northern Stage debut this year. Originally from the North East, she has appeared in a number of shows around the region including, Polly Perkins in ‘Robinson Crusoe (Durham Gala), The Fifteen StreetsAllo Allo and The Laffalang Dracula: Die Laughing (ION Productions), and is a founding member of Newcastle based all-female comedy sketch group, Your Aunt Fanny (Live Theatre).

Other credits include: Molly (ITVs ‘Vera’, Season 8),Faustus (The Globe, Sam Wanamaker Festival), Maureen (RENT!), Mary Barton (LIPA), Three Jumpers (Unearthed Theatre at Edinburgh Fringe), Marina (Pericles, Brighton Open Air Theatre) and a series of Radio Shorts (Cranked Anvil).


Northern Stage is fully accessible. The theatre has three lifts providing access to all parts of the building, including the accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, stages 2 & 3 and the backstage area. Buggy parking is available. To discuss any access needs, take a look at our access page or please call our Box Office on 0191 230 5151.