Written and directed by Andy Thompson. A Virtual Stage production. Rendezvous location delivered by email. On Tuesday, October 15. Continues until November 3
Fun with the undead. Well, more fun with the undead, really. The Zombie Syndrome: On Death Island picks up where last year’s The Zombie Syndrome left off. This project has the makings of a seasonal tradition, kind of like It’s a Wonderful Life at the Arts Club, but serialized and with brain eating.
It’s a game, and it’s a good time. You book your tickets and then, a day or two before the show, you get an email telling you where to meet. When you show up and speak the code, you become part of a team of a dozen “experts” who are charged with stopping a mad scientist from unleashing a zombie army.
This year, everybody on the squad has an assignment: biologist, psychologist, cartographer. That’s great because it spreads the fun through the participants; there’s a delicious giddiness in wondering what the heck you’re going to have to do. This year’s experience is also much more physically contained than last year’s, and therefore much better paced.
The coolest part is still the suspense: not knowing when zombies are going to pop up. At one point, our group was in a parking lot and, every time a car passed, our anxious heads turned, checking for zombie drivers. A thought for the future: the more the company, the Virtual Stage, can surprise us with zombie arrivals, the better.
Andy Thompson’s script gets a little chatty when it synopsizes plot points from last year’s show. This catches people up on the story, but the event might be fresher if every year brought a new zombie experience.
In the large, competent cast, I especially enjoyed Adam Weidl, who brings genuine urgency to his role as a soldier cornered by the undead, and the horde of brain gobblers who make a sweetly choreographed exit.
My favourite part was running for my life.