"London 1599. Shakespeare’s Henry V opens the Globe
Playhouse, but while the actors strut and fret, an excess of bile plagues the populace outside. A true and accurate account of the Elizabethan zombie plague!"
That's the official summary from the press release issued last month by the Walking Shadow Theatre Company, and that about sums up what, by all reports, is an ingenious production debuting this week at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in the heart of Minneapolis. Mixing equal parts Elizabethan drama and Romero-style zombie mayhem, Shakespeare's Land of the Dead sounds like the literate horror fan's dream! Or at least the most brilliant theatre production anyone's come up with since Evil Dead: The Musical.
The gist of the plot: During rehearsals, one of the members of Willy S.'s company is attacked by a ghoul, leading to the Globe Theatre being locked down under quarantine. While London falls prey to the undead outside, the Bard and contemporaries such as Richard Burbage, Sir Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth herself, fight to survive inside. While I acknowledge this has the potential to be either absolutely phenomenal or totally unwatchable, reactions thus far point to the former.
If you've seen it, please drop a line to the Vault! If you live in the Minneapolis area, catch it before it closes next Sunday, and report back! That is all.