Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington

27/09/2012 - 29/09/2012

Production Details

Zombie Prom is this year’s graduation production of the Whitireia Musical Theatre School, playing at the Performance Centre Theatre on Vivian Street from Thursday to Saturday 27-29 September 2012. 

Zombie Prom is shaping up to be a fun and hilarious night out. 

Director Lyndee-Jane Rutherford says, “This cult off-Broadway musical embraces its cheesy mash-up of 50’s pop meets B-grade zombie-filled storyline. It is Grease meets The Walking Dead. We’re having a blast and I’m sure the audience will too.”

Zombie Prom is a musical comedy that has something for everyone, dancing, singing and a nuclear Zombie.  It has been described as slicker than “Grease”, smoother than “Rocky Horror” and bigger and funnier than “Little Shop of Horrors”!

Zombie Prom is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour.

Four shows only.  Book at www.thetheatre.co.nz

Zombie Prom
Whitireia Performance Centre in Vivian Street
27 September to 29 September 2012.
Shows start at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 11am.
Tickets cost $20 for adults
can be purchased at www.thetheatre.co.nz – Concessions are available.

A bit of fun with fine dancing and great laughs

Review by Maryanne Cathro 28th Sep 2012

Zombie Prom is this year’s graduation production of the Whitireia Musical Theatre School. The show itself is as cheesy as a cheeseboard, but as a nation of cheese lovers, we are unlikely to hold that against them.

The premise is as simple as boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy tops himself, boy comes back … Actually I’ll stop there as spoilers are no fun. It is a pastiche of 50s music, with every musical number reminiscent of a classic 50s song. And as with most of those songs, don’t go looking for inner depths: what you see is what you get.

Director Lyndee-Jane Rutherford and MD Michael Nicholas Williams have worked hard to whip this young cast into shape, whose energy fills the theatre to the brim.

A wonderfully absurd level of cross-dressing addresses the imbalance of genders and adds to the fun. Jonathan Morgan’s Miss Strict the Principal sets the tone early on: he is the panto Dame and milks the opportunity to the max.

Generally, we are accustomed to the amusing convention of men dressing as women, but don’t find women dressing as men as funny. In this show, however, the Ladettes shine. Awkward, posturing swaggering boys overplayed with just a hint of derision by young and talented women: priceless.

Leader of the Swags is Camilla Besley, playing the shady, trouble-making Eddie Flagrante with a stunt cigar and absolute commitment. Her tango duet with Miss Strict is a highlight of the show.

One could almost feel sorry for the girls who got to play girls, but this group also does a great job of flouncing and squealing just like characters out of an Archie comic.

As in so many mid century movies and shows, the romantic leads draw the short straw in terms of meaty parts. Their roles are to be handsome/pretty, and not trip over the furniture. Cindy Randall as Toffee and Paul Williams as Jonny (without an H) play the game like good sports, taking themselves very seriously so we don’t have to, and carrying off a variety of love duets and solos with good voice.

The ensemble work is great, with energetic choreography by Lorna Borrett, which is performed with gusto and polish by the cast. My only wish is that there was a more diverse and challenging range of moves to show off the obvious dance talent of all the cast.

All in all, it is a bit of fun. That’s what musical comedies generally aim for and if you like a good 50s number, some fine dancing and some great laughs, you can’t go wrong with this one!


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