How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse

I was sitting behind a woman and her two children for this performance. She glanced around, saw my notepad and began giggling to herself, telling her sons that I was actually taking notes on how to beat off the living dead (not like that). To be honest, I’m surprised I managed to take as many notes as I did given that I was laughing so much. How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse: it sounds like a musical doesn’t it? Not at all, it’s actually a very funny comedy show that takes the form of a training seminar on “zombology”. We’re ushered into the room by Donald, the survival instructor, who has been prowling up and down the queue outside making small talk with the audience and reassuring us that we’ve made the right decision in learning to defend ourselves. When we’re all seated the seminar leader, Dr. Dale Seslick, introduces himself. He’s fantastically smarmy, a sublime and startlingly accurate portrayal of every seminar leader in the country. He even uses those ridiculous phrases and signals that wind everybody, or at least me, up. You know the ones – making a T with his hands and saying “team”. He then introduces the rest of his colleagues: Judy, the scientist; Valerie, the weapons instructor; and Malcolm, the put-upon counsellor. Judy steps forward to tell us the main categories of zombies and how to deal with them. As is revealed in Shaun of the Dead you do indeed have to destroy the brain. Did you know that a zombie head that has been separated from its body can still bite and infect the living? I now do, thanks to the seminar, so in future I’ll watch where I’m stepping. Like a real seminar, this show relies heavily on audience participation. That could so easily go very wrong but the cast are perspicacious and meet any situation the audience throws at them with a dry wit and a wry sense of humour. There was one instance in which the audience was asked for a suggestion and the reply was “scat singing”. Our seminar leader responded drily: “this evening is about the undead, not the brain-dead”. They’re essentially improvisational comedians, and very good ones. They’re also very good actors. Nothing flaps them, no matter how ridiculous the audience suggestions are. For example, when we’re being told how to defend ourselves against a zombie we’re asked for a scenario and a weapon. The answer an audience member shouts is “a fish”. We’re then told, by a poker-faced cast, how to kill a zombie with a fish. Very useful. There’s also a twisted version of yoga in which we’re taught the unicorn position of defence (though you have to have four people to carry it out). It’s bizarre, it’s all bizarre, but it’s brilliantly bizarre. And it’s family friendly. There is absolutely no foul language, no nudge-wink references to sex and no goriness. It also leaves you feeling very sorry for poor old Malcolm, the counsellor, who is given the worst jobs in the roleplays and generally slapped down by the seminar leader, as he ambles around the auditorium in search of a hug. He’s endearing. If I were you I’d get myself a ticket, because even though I now know how to defend myself you can bet that I’ll be looking out for number one when the undead walk the streets. I don’t have time to save you too.

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The Blurb

Be prepared for the inevitable. Celebrated expert Dr Dale and his team teach you how to battle the undead hordes in this inventive, enlightening and insanely informative seminar. This show will save your life.

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