For Spring 2020, imitating the dog, one of the UK’s most original and innovative theatre companies will join forces with Leeds Playhouse to recreate a unique shot-for-shot stage recreation of George A. Romero’s classic 1968 zombie movie – Night of The Living Dead™ – for today’s theatre audiences.
Directed by imitating the dog’s co-artistic directors Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks, Night of The Living Dead ™ – Remix will open at Leeds Playhouse from 24 January till 15 February 2020 ahead of a UK tour.
In 1968, Night of the Living Dead started out as a low-budget independent horror movie telling the story of seven strangers taking refuge from flesh eating ghouls in an isolated farmhouse.
Fifty years on, seven performers enter the stage armed with cameras, a box of props and a rail of costumes. Can they recreate the ground-breaking film, shot-for-shot before our eyes, using whatever they can lay their hands on?
With 1,076 edits in 95 minutes, it’s a heroic struggle. Success will require wit, skill and ingenuity and is by no means guaranteed.
Romero’s original was an apocalyptic vision of paranoia, the breakdown of community and the end of the American dream. In their new stage production, masters of digital theatre, imitating the dog, create a love-song to the original 1960s film, a remaking and remixing which attempts to understand the past in order not to have to repeat it. Their version is in turns humorous, terrifying, thrilling, thought-provoking and joyous. Above all, in the retelling it becomes a searing parable for our own complex times.
Andrew Quick, Co-Director and Artistic Director of imitating the dog said: “Looking at the state of the world today it seems so appropriate that we are going back to this seminal story, the original zombie movie. Rehearsals have been great fun so far and it’s amazing how scary and relevant Romero’s 60s vision still seems.”
Russ Streiner, who produced and appeared as Johnny in the original 1968 George A. Romero film of Night of the Living Dead™ said: “Before Night Of The Living Dead™ became the classic film it is, it started as a collection of ideas and story points; story points that are timeless in their reflection of the human condition. The common link between Image Ten (long ago) ,imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse (today) is a genuine love of the productions we present to the public and we are absolutely thrilled that they have teamed up to present their own authorized fresh and exciting retelling of the story that began over 50 years ago for us.
“This retelling goes back to the roots of where “Night” started with experimental ideas and a new imagining of the story – this time coupled with the dynamic of live actors performing to a live audience.”
The production’s creative team will feature design by Laura Hopkins (Black Watch and Peter Pan, National Theatre of Scotland, The Divide, Edinburgh International Festival and The Old Vic), projection and video design by Simon Wainwright (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Royal Court), lighting by Andrew Crofts (Trash Cuisine, Belarus Free Theatre and The Young Vic) and original music composed by James Hamilton. Casting will be announced in the coming months.
Night of the Living Dead ™ – Remix will run at Leeds Playhouse from the 24 January-15 February 2020. It will then tour to Exeter Northcott, Nottingham Playhouse, Dundee Repertory Theatre and HOME, Manchester with further dates to be announced soon.
Tickets are on sale to Leeds Playhouse’s patrons and Playhouse Pass holders from Friday 20 September at 10am, with tickets on general sale from 10am on Tuesday 24 September.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD ™ – REMIX is presented by courtesy of Image Ten, Inc.