Review: Night of the Living Dead™ Live!

Guest Writer | Kayla Mulkins

Kayla Mulkins, third-year English BA student, represented The Founder on 16th April 2019 at Pleasance, London for the Night of the Living Dead™ Live press night.

1960s, rural Pennsylvania. Six strangers, a lonely farmhouse, surrounded by zombies – what could possibly go wrong? Who will make it out alive?

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Theatre’s Night of the Living Dead™ Live! is a comedic theatrical adaptation of George A. Romero’s cult classic zombie film, directed by Benji Sperring. Although the characters board the windows, they break the fourth wall with the subversion and satirisation of horror tropes. True to original cinematic form, the production is entirely black and white, while yet the vividly graphic combination of sound effects and props elicit audible audience responses. The high energy of the audience was matched by the cast, who all fully embraced their archetypes with the exaggerated acting so belovely associated with classic films. Ashley Samuels gave a compelling performance as rational-minded Ben, which paired hilariously with the masterfully neurotic acting from Mari McGinlay as Barbra.  Additionally, audience members can opt for a more immersive, visceral experience with ticket for the “splatter zone”. The zombie story has been told repeatedly since the release of Romero’s influential film, but Night of the Living Dead™ Live! is worth the watch as it resurrects the old plot as an experimental ground for the “if onlys” posed by decades of viewers.

Pleasance, London from 9 April to 19 May 2019
Tickets on sale at

The production stars Ashley Samuels (Ben), recently seen in Fun Home at the Young Vic and Motown the Musical in the West End, in the iconic role of the protagonist, with Jennifer Harding (Helen/Judy) who was named Hello Magazine’s Rising Star of 2018 and received multi-award nominations for her role in The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Marc Pickering  (Harry) best known for playing the young Sheriff Enoch Thompson in Sky Atlantic’s Boardwalk Empire, Mari McGinlay (Barbra) winner of the Young Scottish Musical Theatre Performer of the Year Award, Mike Bodie (Chief McClelland) who has starred in The Comedy About a Bank Robbery and is a creator and founding member of Mischief Theatre, andTama Phethean (Tom) previously seen at The Globe in The Great Duke of Florence and The False One.

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