A new shot at the Living Dead

Published: 29 February 2020
Reporter: David Upton

In 1968, Night of the Living Dead began life as a low-budget independent zombie horror movie telling the story of seven strangers taking refuge from flesh-eating ghouls in an isolated and deserted farmhouse.

George Romero’s film became a cult classic.

Today, 52 years on, seven performers recreate the film in a unique shot-for-shot co-production between digital theatre masters imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse.

Directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks, it comes to HOME Manchester March 18–21 as part of a national tour.

Armed with cameras, a box of props and a rail of costumes, the cast recreate the movie with 1,076 edits in 95 minutes.

Romero’s original was an apocalyptic vision of paranoia, the breakdown of community and the end of the American Dream.

In this stage production, imitating the dog creates a love song to the original 1968 film, a remaking and remixing, which attempts to understand the past in order not to have to repeat it.

It’s described as “humorous, terrifying, thrilling, thought-provoking, and joyous”. A searing parable for our own times?

The cast features Laura Atherton (A Farewell To Arms, imitating the dog), Morgan Bailey (Heart of Darkness, imitating the dog, and In the Dark), Luke Bigg (Yes / No / Maybe, UK tour), William James Holstead (The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lowry), Morven Macbeth (Opening Skinner’s Box, Improbable, and the hit TV series Outlander), Matt Prendergast (The Train, imitating the dog) and Adela Rajnović (Who They Were, Etcetera Theatre).