Immersive drama DEADinburgh puts the audience at the heart of a zombie plague
The play utilises real scientific ideas to dissect the viral outbreak
Gouts of blood and glowing zombie eyes are the hooks by which immersive theatre show DEADinburgh is getting the punters in. But Barra Collins, artistic director of LAStheatre and moving force behind the project, insists it is all about ideas.
The show grew out of a Victorian enlightenment cafe last year, complete with an astronomer in an opium den and a scientist discussing raising the dead with electricity. Collins realised it was all very well talking about such things, but to really work, the show had to reveal them too. ‘DEADinburgh is a much more narrative-led experience,’ he says. ‘Edinburgh has been overtaken by an epidemic and the audience are rushed into the venue – maybe chased by some zombies – brought up to a briefing room and, through a narrative, the decision of what to do with the city is put in their hands.’
While actors create the soldiers and zombies, the audience will have genuine scientists speaking about real science – but using a fictitious disease – to help them make that choice.
It will be hard: who can live, who must die and whether the city itself, like Mary King’s Close in a previous time of plague, should be sacrificed in order that the rest of humanity can survive. Not to mention the buckets of blood.
Summerhall, Edinburgh, Fri 19–Sun 21 Apr.