Zom­bie Na­tion

Un­dead stage show in­vades East End

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

While you can

an­tic­i­pate “hav­ing the crap scared out of you”, Kiwi theatre group Gen­er­a­tion Of Z’s up­com­ing Lon­don sea­son will also boast some un­ex­pected qual­i­ties. Along with “some freaky, borderline stuff ”, the im­mer­sive zom­bie show will have just as much heart as it will blood and guts.

“We’ve re­ally fo­cused on mak­ing sure that you care about what’s go­ing on,” pro­ducer Char­lie McDer­mott tells Red Alert. “We want to force peo­ple to make some true moral de­ci­sions. What we’ve man­aged to do is to have th­ese choices that all have al­ter­nate out­comes. The ac­tors know both sides that it can go in, so it al­lows the au­di­ence to af­fect what’s hap­pen­ing in an el­e­gant, non- forced way be­cause it’s rooted in the story.”

With so­ci­ety col­laps­ing af­ter the deadly Z virus turns vast swathes of the pop­u­lace into ra­bid, un­dead hordes, Gen­er­a­tion Of Z: Apoca­lypse will fea­ture four sto­ry­lines and two sep­a­rate casts, mean­ing that it is twice as com­plex as the pro­duc­tion that sold out at last year’s Ed­in­burgh Fringe. Staged at a for­mer depart­ment store in Whitechapel, it will fea­ture spe­cial ef­fects from Pinewood- based Bloody Stuff and pros­thet­ics from Kristyan Mal­let, who worked on Guardians Of The Galaxy and Harry Pot­ter.

“We’ve had a zom­bie re­design, which was cool,” laughs McDer­mott, who praises The Walk­ing Dead for “mak­ing you care about the char­ac­ters so it’s not just watched by hor­ror fans.”

How­ever, he re­veals that Gen­er­a­tion Of Z is ac­tu­ally more in­flu­enced by zom­bie sur­vival game The Last Of Us. “What we’re try­ing to do is to put peo­ple in­side the game or the movie,” he says. “We’re fan­boys, so what we’re try­ing to do is make some­thing that we like. I love the genre but now that I’m work­ing in it, I think, ‘ How can we hone this even fur­ther?’” Gen­er­a­tion Of Z: Apoca­lypse pre­views from 4 April and opens on 22 April.

The Mouse­trap this ain’t.

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