Concerning Zombies @ The Vale
Repent! The end is nigh, the apocalypse is upon us, all are surely doomed to meet their fate... and everyone concerned is strangely blasé about it. While zombies stalk the streets, consuming the brains of strangers, family and loved ones, two socially awkward flatmates exchange puerile antagonisms within the confines of their apartment, while not only Rome but the rest of the world burns with it.
At least there are still a couple of people to join spending their last few hours out in style on their favourite online game (thank God the server is still up!) and it’s not so late that hacking into your friend's Facebook account to change their status no longer draws a giggle.
In this new comedy presented by Overdrive Theatre, writer and director Gavin Shankland juxtaposes surrealism with the down-to-earth. The script offers some good chortles (refusing to stoop any lower than zombie bondage or zombie necrophilia in order to seduce a guilty laugh). The most memorable scene involves a hilarious episode involving a home-made Twister set, which, despite concerns that a male-only tournament held at the end of civilisation is "a bit gay," is finally put to good use.
While the acting is laid on a bit thick to begin with for a script written in such naturalistic vernacular, the characterisations of actors Gordon Milne, Darren Thorpe and Gavin Shankland each accurately portray a certain archetype of Geek which we have all encountered (and most likely embraced into our social circle with an air of reluctance at some point). The overall effect is strangely enjoyable. [Antony Sammeroff]