Cory Hope, Arts and Entertainment Editor Ω
Who doesn’t love the undead these days?
There’s something about zombies that just makes them so darned lovable you can actually forgive them for wanting to eat your brains.
Well, that might be pushing it a little bit, but many people myself included will go out of their way to see the latest interpretation of the Zombie Apocalypse (it’s all visual survival training, you know). The original production Zombies put on by TRU Theatre students was no disappointment.
Zombies is the tale of the Zombie Apocalypse taking place in none other than Kamloops.
The tale began prior to the doors being opened, with the girl at the box office wearing one of those surgical masks that paranoid people put on every time somebody around them sneezes.
The ticket takers were dressed as doctors, and as patrons walked in they were asked to extend their arms to be scanned.
No reason was given for the scan, of course.
Those government types are like that.
Upon entering the seating area, a choice of red or black was given.
We were warned in advance that seating in the red area would potentially have one more involved in the production than they might be accustomed to.
Sitting in the black area would be safer.
Zombies didn’t take itself too seriously.
The opening scenes took place in and around a secret military installation near TRU, an installation they claimed Stephen Harper built with his own hands.
A running joke about how this is Canada and we don’t shoot people was peppered throughout the entire play.
Pop-culture references made cameo appearances as well, with assistant director Skinner of The X-Files and Operation: Village of the Damned being mentioned.
The action moved from the area around the university into the theatre itself, which became the setting of the quarantine area for the impending crisis.
The audience suddenly became involved, as actors planted in the crowd were called out and asked to go in for further testing.
Some of them never came back.
A well-thought-out and wonderfully executed short, Zombies was a thoroughly enjoyable Halloween treat.
Using the set created for the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which was graciously put on hold for a few days to present Zombies), they effortlessly maneuvered the action from one spot to another via quick changes in lighting and kept the audience on board by literally involving them.
I’d like to see more shorts produced using the same tactics of borrowing a set and using whatever devices the troupe has at their disposal.
The precedent they set with Zombies proved that it’s possible to make this work, and maybe next month we could see Santa coming down the chimney, getting stuck, and being the sole survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse because they couldn’t get at him to eat his brains.
Maybe that’s pushing it a little bit, but crossovers work in the comic book world, so why not?