This “macabre coming-of-age tale” claims to address issues such as sexual awakening, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, and the pressure of parental expectation. And what’s just the right context for such an exploration? Biological warfare and a zombie invasion, of course.
Four misfit adolescents are chased through their school by bloodthirsty, rampaging zombies. It may sound like parody, but sadly, it’s not. As if the premise wasn’t unfortunate enough, the characters presented are barely more than stereotypes, their dialogue stilted and unbelievable. The young cast admittedly have very little to work with by way of content, but this is no excuse for such prodigiously flat performances. This is bad enough when the foursome are together; the later scenes, where the teenagers split off into amorous pairings—geeky head boy with the truanting slut, sporty girl with the friendless loser—are almost unwatchable.
The lack of characterisation and credible plot makes dramatic tension impossible, a situation not helped by the clunky staging. Denied the luxury of an actual set, we must make do with four fold-up chairs and some substandard mime for the opening of doors and cupboards. This, and the noise from clumsy zombies waiting in the wings, makes for an overwhelmingly amateurish experience.
I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of zombies before today, but this play had me cheering them on.