Backstage, no one can hear you scream...
Directors: Lucy Harvey & Danielle Kummer
Starring: Dave Mitchell, Luc Hayward, Lydia Hayward
Running time: 86 minutes
Directed by Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer, this heartwarming documentary was the perfect way to kick off Nottingham's Mayhem Festival at Broadway Cinema, reminding everyone in the room why Alien is so good, and how horror can bring us together.
In 2013, Paranoid Dramatics decided to boldly go where no amateur society had gone before. Their mission was to painstakingly reproduce the 1979 masterpiece Alien for the stage. All other considerations secondary.
In the words of their Special Effects wizard Peter Lawford, they wanted to do everything Ridley Scott would have wanted, only on a more basic level.
This imperfect but intrepid team poured their hearts and souls into making something fun, ambitious, and completely unpretentious. Most of them had day jobs as bus drivers, some were shopkeepers, but they all gave up their evenings and weekends to eat biscuits, have a gossip, and squeeze in making a show.
Like the original stage production, this is a film made with love, care, and sincerity
Sadly, the residents of Wimborne Minster were less keen on seeing such an experimental take on the traditional family pantomime. Luckily, Harvey and Kummer heard about it and drove a busload of their friends down from London to catch the final performance, setting the wheels in motion for a one-night only West End run at the Leicester Square Theatre.
Obviously everyone was excited, but how were they going to perfect the chestburster scene? What would an audience of theatre-saturated Londoners expect from these Dorset luvvies? Would anyone turn up to fill the 400-seat auditorium? And would any of the cast remember their lines?
Like the original stage production, this is a film made with love, care, and sincerity. It's impossible not to admire and adore this brave bunch of ordinary people who just want to do their best and entertain. I'm kicking myself I never saw the live show, but who knows what the future will bring for these plucky pioneers?
Do yourself a favour and give this film a watch. It'll leave you on the edge of your seat, with your heart in your mouth, and a great big grin on your face.
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