I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the opening night of Night of the Living Dead™ Live! at the Pleasance London. This comedic adaption of the 1968 George A. Romero classic has been written by Christopher Bond, Dale Boyer and Trevor Martin. Created by Christopher Harrison and Phil Pattison and directed by Benji Sperring.

Night of the Living Dead™ Live! does not take itself seriously. The plot revolves around 6 characters trapped inside a house while ‘ghouls’ are taking over outside. The inhabitants will do what they can to survive. Do they make it?

The characters were portrayed well. I particularly liked Marc Pickering’s character Harry a character who ‘always knew best’ and had a strange likable quality. The play is quite physical and the actors delivered this well with impact in all the right places. The play was scattered throughout with a number of humorous satirical observations of the un-PC 60’s which got a strong reaction from the audience.

The staging was impeccable, perfectly replicating a black and white film. A clear nod to the original movie. The actors were also dressed in monochrome continuing the illusion of an old black and white movie. Props were used well and two aspects of the set stood out to me, the use of a large transparent area to show the action outside of the house and the use of a large television set to highlight a news report. Both of these elements provided a narrative that would have been missed otherwise. Sound effects were used sparingly but when used they packed a punch, gun shots, suspenseful music and crescendos all adding to the atmosphere. A clever staging dynamic was to have a number of audience members in what was advertised as a ‘splatter zone’, they were actually on the stage with the action being performed around them. A nice little touch.

If you are a fan of comedy horror then this production is definitely for you. The play continues to build in energy throughout ending with an impressive finale that left the audience smiling. If you are in the area I urge you to see this excellent adaption of Night of the Living Dead™ Live!

Night of the Living Dead™ Live! is running from the 9th April to 19th May at the Pleasance London.

Author: Ashley