Undead or Alive at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Delia Barnett in Undead or Alive: An Apocalypse Survival Guide. Photo credit: Dave DeGagné of DB photographics

Delia Barnett in Undead or Alive: An Apocalypse Survival Guide. Photo credit: Dave DeGagné of DB photographics

Undead or Alive: An Apocalypse Survival Guide by Jamie Northan and Delia Barnett
August 12 – 17, 19 – 21 at Venue #25: The Almanac


An interview with Delia Barnett.

 Describe your show in five words. 

Hunger for satire and fun.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Undead or Alive is a zombie survival seminar where the audience can test their survival skills and zombie knowledge. Doomsday prepper Tori Mountain goes through all the important zombie hot topics- including the exclusive Canadian Advantage? What is the secret- you’ll have to come and find out. Each show ends in an optional game of zombie tag with prizes and glory for best zombies and any survivors who may it to the crisp high five. Do you have what it takes? Will you be Undead or Alive?

Undead or Alive: An Apocalypse Survival Guide was part of the 2013 Edmonton International Fringe Festival. Why did you want to it back to the festival again this year?

Jamie Northan and I loved this show. We came up with it while on a jog during the 2011 fringe. This show is an absolute blast and no two shows are the same.

We had a lot of people asking about it- people who missed it or heard about it and people who wanted to see it again. Zombies is such a fun accessible thing. I loved how into the show the audiences were and  how excited the audiences were- seeing grown adults smiling ear to ear and playing zombie tag is amazing.

This time around Undead or Alive features a woman in the lead role, whereas the last time it was a man. Why did you want to switch up the show in this way?

Part of it was necessity- Jamie is busy with KILL HARD – his improvised action movie show but also we wanted to try something new. During the original run- we’d check in after every show and tweak and change things. I believe a show can always get better.

When we first did the show in 2013 I had never done an improv show and I was terrified. Because there is so much audience interaction- a good portion of every show is improvised.  In the past couple years I have been lucky enough to appear on Die Nasty the improvised soap opera. Every show I learn so much from the incredible cast. Jamie and I talked and we agreed it was time for me to be at the helm.

Personally I love seeing strong smart women and Tori is survival savvy and un- afraid to voice her opinions and speak her mind. As Justin Trudeau says “It’s 2016”. The world has come along way since Vanity Fair published an article about how women aren’t funny.

And honestly- it shouldn’t matter the gender of the host as long as they are good. I’m ready to step into Jamie’s shoes.

It seems like audiences play a more active role in Undead or Alive than they do in other Fringe shows. Can you talk a bit about the role the audience has in the show?

The audience becomes the hero of the show. The more they have fun and interact the more fun the show is. I ask the audience questions and if they answer correctly or interestingly then Tori gives them “Tori Dollars” whoever has the most Tori Dollars at the end of the show get to be a survivor in the game.

In 2013 in Calgary Mayor Nenshi came to the show and the audience pooled their prizes to make him a survivor it was incredible. And yes Nenshi played tag.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

If you are someone who drives your friends nuts talking Zombie teams, escape routes and best weapons for zombies come on out. If you want an interactive experience like no other – this show is for you.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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