Taking over a derelict basement in East London, The Generation of Z is the latest in a long line of immersive theatre productions, hot on the heels of The Heist, The Drowned Man, and to a lesser extent, Secret Cinema.
Turning a 25,000 square-foot space into an apocalyptic wasteland, it’s still 2015 but London has fallen, with the deadly Z virus transforming the global population into a rabid horde of the infected. The Armed Rescue Coalition are the only hope so when one of our own starts coughing up blood, it sets off a thrilling 60 minutes of twists, turns and gnarly-looking zombies.
Unlike the free-form 2.8 Hours Later where you have to run for your life, in The Generation of Z everything is carefully scripted promenade theatre. The main cast of A.R.C. officers are drilled and know their lines and timings to a tee, but it all feels like you’re living the action live as the action is genuinely riveting and, at times, terrifying too.
During the performance the group splits and then splits again, so you end up in one of four parties. It means there’s replay value in going back for a second, third or fourth time but on a solo trip it did make it difficult to pick up the entirety of the plot. However, it was great that you felt like you were impacting on the narrative; decisions you make during the production change course of events, with your group deciding the fate of tertiary characters in plot.
At the end you’re invited back into the living stage to take a selfie with the zombies and you can even volunteer to be on the other side of the curtain and be one of the hoarde on a future production.
The Generation of Z is a lot of fun, best enjoyed with friends, and another wonderfully unique night out in London. At just under £40 mid-week and £42.50 on Friday and Saturdays it is an expensive event, but given that the latest Secret Cinema is selling out at £78 at ticket, that’s unfortunately now the going rate. And to its credit, The Generation of Z feels worthy of the money, with fantastic set design and an engaging cast. If you want to live out your Walking Dead fantasies, this is the perfect chance.
The Generation of Z runs until July 5th, for more information and to buy tickets please head to their website: www.thegenerationofz.com
The Generation of Z, 69-89 Mile End Road, London, E1 4TT