Dead In The Water – The Zombie Syndrome – by Virtual Stage Productions
Until October 31st
This blend of gore and gothic is giddy, scary fun!
The Zombie Syndrome is an interactive adventure show that takes its guests on journey through a portion of the city in a race against time. This is the fourth year and the storyline continues to grow and evolve. Some things don’t change: Zombies lurch out of the shadows, there are puzzles to solve and audience members are assembled into a team and assigned roles to play.
Like anything in life the more you and your team get into roles the more fun it gets. Characters include: Leader, Brain Surgeon, The Muscle, Hypnotist, Priest, etc. You are in a team of 20 and the more playful people on it the better.
I can’t give away too much of the adventure but I want to really commend the people that made up the team I was on eventually called the Bad Hombres. We were a little chaotic but worked together enough to save the world. (I should confess the first year I talked our team back them into an action that unleashed the plague. Sorry about that.)
This year the adventure has upped the quirky characters and also shifted the tone to something much more spooky, it’s gone goth. Last year space aliens were added into the mix, which was fun but a little goofy. This year a pack of vampires are transforming the zombies into unstoppable killing machines.
There are 7 different parts to this journey and you travel about 3 blocks in total and many laughs and screams later you end up in a set piece that was nicely spooky thanks in great part to Rowan Jang who played the head vampire, Mattias Van Cleave, who we had to figure out how to kill. He has the right blend of playful cruelty and a methodical and steady delivery that put us on edge nicely, particularly when we had to make a decision we couldn’t all completely agree on.
Sorry to be so vague but this adventure show is best experienced rather than read about. Kudos to creator and director Andy Thompson, the cast was having fun playing their characters and it helped our group really get into it. The various encounters and tasks were fun and we felt proud to be told afterwards we were the only group that day that saved the world.
Also want to give a big shout out to the production team. This is a large cast and with 7 different sites, lighting and music and making sure none of the general public get lost or hurt as they travel around can’t be an easy thing and they did an excellent job.
It’s a spooky and playful fun with equal parts laughter and screams. Make sure you take some people who are into playing along. It makes the whole experience more fun!
My theatre companion could not stop grinning and after we talked about our favourite parts over beer. That’s a good night of theatre!
David C. Jones
Oh – here is a show I am doing in Vancouver in December.