Everything you want it to be and more, Alien on Stage is a love letter to those who always dreamed of making the unlikely happen. A wonderful triumph that will have you grinning for its entire runtime.
A merry bunch of bus drivers are working on a homemade stage play adaptation of Ridley Scott’s ALIEN. As DIY as a production can get, with costumes from charity shops and cardboard decor. We follow the ups and downs of the most delightful, down-to-earth and charming people you’ll ever get to meet in Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer’s debut feature.
Let’s be honest here, the idea of making a stage version of your favourite horror or sci-fi film has most likely come into your head once or twice. Certainly, it isn’t even the first time Alien has come up as an idea if we remember the high school that adapted it. We ask ourselves several questions, how can we do the alien costume? Is it possible to do LV-426 any justice? Even the sets bring conundrums. Well, all of those questions have been answered in the wonderful Alien On Stage. It is possible to do it and then some! Not only is it possible, but you can also bring a good bit of fun with it.
What shines through is even when all of this effort to make the play results in a rather lacklustre run at the local community hall (Alien would be a tough sell to a small community), is that this group stick together and can come through for one another. We can see the telltale characters from a mile away. The director, Dave, has to be firm and keep everyone in order, and of course, he used to be in the military. He needs to drill his cast other than Lydia (our Ripley) and Scott (Kane and the Xenomorph). The rest of our cast don’t take the material or the play all that seriously.
However relaxed they are about the production, you can tell that they still want it to succeed, and it is perhaps when they reach London, does that fully set in for them all. Our ensemble is full of characters, and while they forget their marks and when to say their lines, their charm comes through in spades. This is a hobby, after all.
Following a solid three-act structure, we learn about the history of the group and the efforts they went into producing that first run in their hometown. Add in the difficulties of even getting that version of their play to the Stage in the manner they did. Unfortunately, this community hall doesn’t have the equipment needed to carry out such a production. When our directors Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer, by chance, see the play, we kick off on an unexpected journey. Full of crowdfunds and favours, our unlikely trope find themselves with the opportunity to perform on a stage far bigger than they could ever imagine.
From here on out, we see the true trials and tribulations of bringing a very low budget production to a larger audience while still trying to keep what worked before. The daunted lighting and sound team of Luc and Amie try to wrap their heads around the new systems the day before the curtain-raiser. For those wondering, yes, you get to see Alien’s highlights on Stage performed in the Leicester Square Theatre and goodness, is it glorious. But, with a crowd who are all in and know what to expect, you will have a feeling of missing out on something special. If there were any good in this world, this would be a fantastic tour or stay in a theatre for all to come and see.
Harvey and Kummer get a lot right with their documentary. Perfectly capturing each of our group from the young writer Luc to the enthusiastic special effects artist Peter. Alien on Stage is a joy and one that you need to watch.
Alien on Stage is showing now at Fantasia Fest
For more of our coverage of Fantasia Fest 2021, have a gander below! We will update each day!
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