A classic zombie movie is being brought to the stage in Dundee in a unique production and – for those brave enough to endure gore and ghouls – it promises to be a must-see show.
The Night of the Living Dead Remix is on at the Rep Theatre at its only Scottish gig and has already earned rave reviews in its tour of England.
A small group of actors recreate on stage one of the most iconic zombie films ever made – of seven characters battling to survive in a boarded up cellar – while two screens simultaneously show the original film to the audience.
And while the opening show happens on Friday the 13th, that date is the only coincidence in an otherwise meticulously planned production, explained co-director Andrew Quick.
“I actually tried to come to Dundee Rep before, about four or five years ago, with a show called Farewell to Arms, but there was a change of director who wanted to do something else and we got axed and the show cancelled.
“So I am really pleased I am finally getting to work there. But I have to say that the opening night of Friday the 13th is coincidence and not planned. I am not superstitious anyway and even took a flight from New York on that date.”
He added: “We are making this remix shot by shot and there are 1,078 shots over the one hour and 35 minutes so they come thick and fast.
“It is a tough and tiring show for the performers who do a lot of stuff.”
Set in 1968 USA – when Vietnam and fear of nuclear Armageddon was tearing apart America’s wholesome ‘apple-pie’ dream – the story sees seven strangers desperately trying to survive as zombie ghouls attack their isolated farm house.
As the blackness of night draws in, and the fear levels ramp up, audiences will join the group on a terrifying journey. Safe to say, expect classic blood-curdling scenes as people inevitably meet a grisly end.
The major problem for central character, Ben, is that victims re-animate …
“When the movie was originally made it was an interesting time and the actor who played Ben, called Duane Jones, performed as the first black main character in a film,” said Andrew.
That character is now performed by Morgan Bailey who is delighted to get his teeth into the part.
He said: “It was controversial at the time and there is a scene where Ben lays his hand on a female character who is white which shocked audiences at the time.
“And my character meets a gruesome end: he has meat hooks put into his flesh and is dragged to a pile of the undead and burned. It’s reminiscent of the lynchings and is quite interesting.
“This will be my first time in Dundee and I am looking forward to it. I’ve been to Glasgow which is a beautiful city but Dundee has eluded me until now.”
Fans of classic horror movies should be beating a path to the Dundee Rep, but if you miss this exclusive Scottish run, there’s still a possibility of catching the play at some point in the future.
Andrew said: “We only have the one gig in Scotland, but once it finishes in June then we will re-think it and maybe plan other venues in Scotland for next year.”