Please be my Santa
while facing an ever-growing army of undead Scots. But why not let the zombies sing? Why confine so much of the action to a bowling alley? And where are the jokes? Did the jokes get killed off in a prequel?
In brief: Instead of going off to “uni” (university), cool-butrelatable Anna ( Ella Hunt, better than her material) crushes the hopes of her grieving widower school jan- itor dad (Mark Benton) by announcing her intentions to travel.
First, though, a local problem arises, part of a global zombie pandemic glimpsed on the occasional TV screen.
Side characters include Anna’s rage-y ex (Ben Wiggins), whose personality conversion in the later scenes doesn’t merit the character’s survival, and Anna’s nice-guy pal ( Malcolm Cumming), stuck in a rut of unrequited love.
Choreographer Sarah Swire also plays a transfer student, nice and deadpan with the throwaway lines. (She’s by far the most compelling screen presence.) Stuck with dull songs — he’s not alone — Paul Kaye oozes generic malevolence as the deputy headmaster hell-bent on keeping the Christmas talent show rehearsals on track, despite the zombie problem.
Anna and the Apocalypse grew out of a 2010 short film, which features a few images of musically underscored chaos far wittier than the fulllength film’s indistinct staging and framing.
A stage version at the Edinburgh fringe festival, after a pint or two — that would be fun, I bet.