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New Diorama, LondonOrson Welles’s radio adaptation of the sci-fi classic is given a new spin on stage with references to Trump and Brexit The story of the panic induced by Orson Welles’s 1938 radio broadcast of HG Wells’s sci-fi novel has been told many times. But this show, devised by Rhum and Clay and written by Isley Lynn, offers a fresh take by seeing it as a harbinger of the hoaxes that have accelerated over the last 80 years. Even if I’d quarrel with some of the conclusions, I enjoyed the piece’s wit, pungency and physical skill. Four actors swiftly evoke the original broadcast: dance-band music is intercut with on-the-spot reports from New Jersey where the Martians have supposedly landed. Whole books have been written about the hysteria this induced, but the play really gets going when Meena, a British media studies graduate, visits Grover’s Mill, where the radio drama was set, to explore the truth of a story that a 13-year-old girl was abandoned by her terrified family. Meena discovers the town is filled with tourist sites commemorating a fictional event. We realise that we live in a world where the line between lies and truth has become increasingly blurred. Continue reading...