A group of bus drivers who put together a show every year decides to veer away from their usual pantomime and go for something bolder, something they’ve never done before. They decide to adapt Alien to the stage. In doing so, they attract the attention of a pair of filmmakers and end up moving the show to the West End for one night only.
This documentary following the group as they adapt and practice for the bigger stage is directed by Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer who clearly saw something in the group that needed to be highlighted and went with it. They approach their subject with respect and a lens that doesn’t blink when it comes to effort and courage it takes to bring a beloved film to the stage without a budget. The crew here are what the film is all about, more so than the show itself, showing them and their passion for what they do is what sells this documentary. They are all so committed to what they are doing that it’s endearing and brings the viewer into the film.
This crew is not made of professional actors. From what is shown, it seems only one of them is a trained actor and she’s working in a secondhand store when she’s not on stage. The rest of the group is mostly bus drivers and people who work for the bus company. The fact that they do a show every year and put everything they have on that stage is what makes this so interesting. This is not Hollywood or the West End, it’s not even indie stage performance, this is homemade fun and love with a passion for entertaining people. These folks are great to watch and make the viewer want to see what they do next.
Alien on Stage is one the most fun documentary in a long time and it’s one that includes the great majority of the play as they put it on stage for one night only in the West End. The performances seen are that of non-professional actors on a stage they built with props they created and even some pretty awesome special effects (even a stunt). This is something to look for when it becomes widely available, for not Alien on Stage plays festivals like Nightstream 2021 where it looks to be a big hit among those who had the luck of seeing it.