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Chariots of fire as Ben Hur Live comes to the O2

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:52 05 October 2010

Ben Hur Live

Ben Hur Live

THE O2 will rewind the clocks by 2000 next week as chariots hurtle around the arena in a live version of the epic film Ben Hur. The production, featuring a cast of nearly 400 actors and 100 animals, will make its world debut at the former Millennium Dome

THE O2 will rewind the clocks by 2000 next week as chariots hurtle around the arena in a live version of the epic film Ben Hur.

The production, featuring a cast of nearly 400 actors and 100 animals, will make its world debut at the former Millennium Dome on Tuesday.

The vision of German producer Franz Abraham, Ben Hur Live has been 15 years in the making and includes the famous chariot race from the 1959 film starring Charlton Heston.

Franz said: "The idea for Ben Hur Live began 15 years ago.

"Right from the beginning I aimed to create something completely new, with a high level of artistry that would excite the audience.

"The show will have the speed of a musical, the depth of great theatre, the power of a rock concert and the visual opulence of a Hollywood blockbuster."

Ben Hur Live coincides with the 50 year anniversary of the film and organisers say it will dazzle its audience with a combination of light, sound, water, wind and pyrotechnic effects in a show performed in the round, echoing an ancient arena.

The show is based on the novel Ben Hur - a Tale of Christ by Lew Wallace and tells the story of the life and destiny of the Jewish prince Judah Ben Hur at the beginning of the first century.

The production will be accompanied by a symphonic soundtrack created by Hollywood composer Klaus Badelt, as well as 400 performers and 100 animals including horses, camels, donkeys, chickens, falcons and eagles.

Parts will be performed in Aramaic and Latin but will be narrated in English.

The highlight of the show will be the famous chariot scene where five quadrigas will compete in a neck and neck race around the arena floor.

Ben Hur Live is at the O2 arena from Tuesday, September 15-Sunday, September 20.

Tickets cost £17.50-£115 from www.theo2.co.uk or www.benhurlive.com or 0844 856 0202.


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