Apr 12, 2013 Theatre
Auckland is burning, zombies are stalking the streets for warm flesh — and it’s a no-brainer (ahem) that the place to be is Aotea Square. The concrete mass of the Aotea Centre even looks like an armageddon-grade impenetrable bunker.
But the audience of Apocalypse Z won’t make it into the building. The interactive show unfolds in a temporary military outpost set up in the square, where the audience (survivors) are being processed to send them to a safe haven.
Apocalypse Z is the brainchild of actors David Van Horn and Simon London, brought to life by Charlie McDermott and Beth Allen of Royale Productions. Like the zombies, the creators plan global domination. Starting with Auckland, McDermott says they want to hook in young, arts-adverse audiences allergic to “airport lounge theatres”. It is an R-rated, immersive experience, inspired more by gaming than traditional theatre.
The blood-and-guts show is designed to be so real that its creators have had to add a psychologist’s plan to their safety measures in case any audience members totally freak. “We call this the 5D experience,” says McDermott. “You’re live. People are sweating, they’re spitting — you can smell them.” Warning: the audience that enters may not be the same when it exits.
Apocalypse Z, Royale Productions, Aotea Square, April 12-27 2013.