Alien on Stage (2020)

Alien on Stage (2020) MOVIE DETAILS
Name: Alien on Stage
Year: 2020
Country: UK
Director: Lucy Harvey, Danielle Kummer
Main cast: Lydia Hayward, Jacqui Roe, Jason Hill, Mike Rustici, Scott Douglas, Dave Mitchell
Runtime: 86 minutes
Production company: Fool For Love Films, Definitive Film


Do you remember a few years ago when word spread that an amateur theatre group performed a hilarious and amazing version on the stage of the Ridley Scott classic film Alien (1979)? Because, sure, it sounds surreal and hard to believe but that actually happened. And now we have a documentary that proves we were not dreaming. We are lucky that Alien on Stage (2020) exists.

During the initial minutes of the documentary, and before the protagonists of the show are introduced, we are taught about the arts of pantomime, a traditional family theatre experience performed around Christmas in towns across Britain. Immediately we focus on the Paranoid Dramatics group, which former years had represented classics like Robin Hood, but in the current year had made a very innovative choice. Why not representing Alien (1979), one of the favorite movies of the group’s cast and crew? And then is when the magic begins.

The documentary is divided into two blocks. First, the inception of the play in the local facilities of Wimborne, Dorset, South West England. A group of amateur performers, most of them working for the local bus service, and long-time friends and family, start to work on the lines and stage of their take on the –perhaps– best science-fiction and horror movie of all times. The warmth of the people and the proximity of the filming crew brings an endearing feeling through the whole trip, so the audience can read the lines together with the actors, cheer the costumes and decoration achievements, and suffer the stress the director of the group, Dave Mitchell, is suffering as the opening date is getting closer and the cast are still reading the script not memorizing the text. But those are the perks of amateur theater, it doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t it?

Finally, the play opens in the local town theatre and the reception is not very enthusiastic, to be generous. But someone spotted the show and asked the group if they would like to take the Alien on Stage spectacle to London. Well, if that would be a dream made true for a professional actor, just imagine for the group of enthusiastic bus drivers!

So the second block of the documentary starts. The group has around 5 weeks to get everything ready and debut at the London West End. And here is when the epic starts. Time is running fast, but the passion of the cast and crew seems to be endless. The director Dave Mitchell is close to having more heart attacks but we the audience are already sold. This can’t go wrong. So the opening night comes and the show starts. Well, now is when you really must see the film Alien on Stage (2020), because there are no words to describe what those guys made on the stage. We are shown only a few moments of the play, but that is more than enough so imagine how much of a blast would have been to be there, on both sides of the stage. Those small-town bus drivers were the kings of the galaxy for a few hours. And we are witnessing one of the most exciting, vibrating, and emotional documentaries in a long long time.

In the end, it all went fine. Alien on Stage is still having its sold-out seasonal dates and the good reviews keep flowing. And the documentary Alien on Stage (2020) had the honor to be able to catch on film a part of that weird little history, that strange surreal jewel that every now and then the world of arts honors us. It is impossible not to enjoy this documentary, as it is impossible not to call the Paranoid Dramatics group heroes.

Alien on Stage (2020) is one of the most emotional and rewarding films I’ve seen in a long time. An absolute must-see, as it is the Alien on Stage theatre play if we ever get the chance to attend to it.

RATE: 8/10