Alien on Stage (2020)

Alien on Stage
Director: Lucy Harvey, Danielle Kummer
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2021

An amateur theater group from a bus driving company in Dorset have set their eyes on a new project. Instead of the usual pantomime, they want to bring Alien on Stage. It’s an ambitious idea, but with the strenght of community, everything is possible.

Alien on Stage is a warm, wonderful, uplifting film and an ode to passion projects that is sure to put a smile on your face. An instant favorit.

The film poster showing a bus with spotlights on it. Below it we see a xenomorph taking a bow in front of a crowd.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a film that was so unreseverdly naive, in the sense of not cynical at all, and it’s a wonderful thing. Watching this group of people come together to bring their project to life was simply and refreshingly nice. There are quabbles between them, and not everything is always easy. Their first performances attract very little interest. And yet, they keep at it.

And the result is really wonderful. Not only is there a certain level of ingenuity in how they bring the story to the stage, create their props and costumes, that shows that it doesn’t always need to be fancy. But the finished play is also funny, turning the adaptation in a love letter to and a parody of the original film at the same time. And they lean into the comedy aspect which, I think, is necessary to make their adaptation work.

A photo of the cast and crew of the play in, the cast in costume.

Harvey and Kummer – who stumbled upon the original production by chance, drove to Dorset from London to see it, and then decided they had to bring it to London and make a film about it (doubling the wonderful passion project narrative) – have a good sense of what the audience wants to see. They introduce the players and give us an idea of who they are on and off stage. They show us the preparation process. And then they give us highlights from the actual performance, satisfying the audience’s curiosity of how it all turns out and giving us some hearty laughs, too. It’s a pity that we didn’t get to see the play live, but the atmosphere in the cinema was a good supplement.

In short, it’s an absolute feel-good movie in way that films, especially documentaries, rarely are. It is sure to touch you – and to maybe think about what project you may have abandoned along the way because it wouldn’t lead anywhere, it would just be fun to do. Maybe it’s time to get back to that.

The cast of the play re-creating a famous photo of the cast of the film.

Summarizing: wonderful.

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