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Night of the Living Dead Live!

“Schlocky but saggy staging”
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Probably best not to wear your finery at Night of the Living Dead Live!. This US stage adaptation of George A Romero’s hugely influential 1968 horror film involves copious amounts of zombie brain being flung over the first few rows. Benji Sperring’s staging, the UK premiere, even includes a splatter zone – a dozen or so seats, placed in the middle of the stage – for intrepid audience members only.

The first half is a fairly faithful recreation of the film, sure to please die-hard fans – a group of strangers hole up in a country house to escape from a ravenous zombie hoard. It features all of the famous lines, and plenty of the famous sequences.

The second half takes a lot of liberties. It plays out a series of woke-ish what-if scenarios. What would happen if the women were in charge? What if the main character was white, not black? What if we all just got along? It is, in truth, more fun than the faithful first half, descending deliriously into farce and song.

Sperring – the director behind 2016’s The Toxic Avenger musical – makes some serious mis-steps, though. The whole thing is staged in monochrome in a homage that actually makes things difficult to distinguish, and the splatter-zone seats are a real eyesore from the stalls.

But the cast is game, particularly Marc Pickering’s Harry, and although it could all be a lot sharper and a lot slicker, it’s still difficult not to get swept up in all the silliness.


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Production Details
Production nameNight of the Living Dead Live!
VenuePleasance Theatre
LocationLondon
StartsApril 9, 2019
EndsJune 8, 2019
Running time2hrs
AuthorChristopher Bond, Christopher Harrison, Dale Boyer, Phil Pattison, Trevor Martin
DirectorBenji Sperring
Set designerDiego Pitarch
Lighting designerNic Farman
Sound designerJames Nicholson, Paul Gavin
CastAshley Samuels, Jennifer Harding, Marc Pickering, Mari Mcginlay, Mike Bodie, Tama Phethean
Production managerPhil Mccandlish
Stage managerGrace Currie, Jade Hunter
ProducerKaty Lipson For Aria, Ollie Rosenblatt For Senbla
VerdictSchlocky but saggy stage adaptation of George A Romero’s classic horror film
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Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

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