We are now exactly 2 weeks away from opening Night Of The Living Dead. Things have been getting messier, gorier and a whole lot more tense but the beast is starting to look very scary indeed. We took a small mid rehearsal sabattical to visit Cork for a week to open the other Devious Theatre show of 2012, John Kennedy’s Phantasm down in Solstice. Last week everybody got back in the saddle for round two of our foray into the zombie apocalypse.
At this point, the entire play is blocked and the actors have gotten their characters down pat. Sparks are beginning to fly. The mood is tense. Cabin fever has kicked in. They’re all starting to spark off each other really well and we’ve created some lovely, horrific moments. The tone of the play has started to take shape too and from the start, that was always going to be the crucial thing when staging something as iconic as Night Of The Living Dead and transposing it to an Irish setting.
At first we really had to work at removing the heightened almost melodramatic tone of the film. It’s very hard to do lines like ‘Nooo!’ and ‘Destroy the brain!’ when you’re dealing with a naturalistic play set in modern Ireland. Especially when so much zombie fiction has you conditioned for melodrama. On this note, I keep telling the actors to do the opposite of what an actor in The Walking Dead would do. There’s some really bad, overwrought performances in that show… apart from Merrill, that guy is badass. The cast have risen to it and we’ve got something that definitely seems unique in terms of zombie drama. Possibly because it’s just so damn Irish.
The set pieces have started to come in and actors are now starting to get really comfortable having some ghoul clobbering implements in their hands. Excitement is cranking up and everyone is really getting into it… hopefully not too into it… there’s been no casualties yet. Yet.
They’ve gotten the bug now. Time to start the zombie bashing…
Photos by Ross Costigan.
Night Of The Living Dead opens Tuesday July 24th at 8pm. Tickets can be booked on 056-7761674 or at watergatetheatre.com