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Theatre / How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

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Metaphorically of course.

How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse is a 2018 two-man play, written by Jonathan Hall.

Philip (Tobias Christopher) is a 52-year-old uptight gay school teacher. He's been in a committed relationship for twenty years, living a cautious and respectable life - constantly fearing taking risks. Mark (Lee Petcher) is a 29-year-old rock climbing instructor who's a born thrill seeker. His on-again-off-again relationship with a girl called Michelle is having trouble at the time he and Phil meet. The two form an unlikely friendship.

Despite the title, there are no zombies of any kind in the play. The 'zombie apocalypse' refers to Mark's love of zombie films and life in general. So not to be confused with the book of the same name.



  • Affectionate Nickname: Mark continues to call Phil "sir" as a term of endearment even after they become friends.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Phil is 52, Mark is 29.
  • Babies Ever After: The final scene reveals that Mark and Michelle will have a baby.
  • Bi the Way: Mark has a girlfriend and then has an affair with Phil. Word of God is that he is "bi-curious".
  • Brick Joke:
    • Phil mentions that one of his partner's daughters is trying to start a plumbing business. In the final scene, Mark says he saw a woman fixing the shower at Phil's house.
    • Mark is seen with a water pistol early on as a joke. In the final scene he produces another one from a bag to spray Phil with.
  • Christmas Episode: The second-last scene takes place near Christmas.
  • Distant Finale: The final scene is well over a year after the previous one.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Phil is introduced having an anxiety attack at the top of a climbing wall.
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  • First Girl Wins: Mark is back with Michelle by the end of the play.
  • Foreshadowing: Phil has a bad knee that gets drawn attention to in some scenes. In the Time Skip he's shown suffering from cancer.
  • Genki Guy: Mark's enthusiasm for life and living is unmatched.
  • The Ghost: Phil's partner Patrick and Mark's girlfriend Michelle are never seen, but function as characters in their own right.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: It's said that Phil and Patrick have been going through problems, making his cheating have slightly more merit.
  • Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis: Phil has one involving his affair with Mark. Part of Mark's annoyance is Phil viewing their relationship as this as opposed to something meaningful.
  • I Am Very British: Phil has this type of voice to show how proper he is.
  • Irony: Phil is conscious about his health and worries that Patrick isn't taking care of his. He ends up with cancer.
  • Manchild: Mark in some ways with his fear of commitment.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Mark frequently does funny accents and voices.
  • Maybe Ever After: Mark and Michelle end the play together with a baby on the way. Mark seems happy but the relationship has had problems in the past.
  • Nobody Over Fifty Is Gay: Averted. Phil is 52 to be precise.
  • Not Wanting Kids Is Weird: Mark not wanting to have kids with Michelle prompts Phil to give him a talk about how he felt the same way and of course he'll turn around. Mark seems happy when he reveals Michelle is pregnant.
  • Odd Friendship: Phil and Mark are completely different and yet they hit it off.
  • Older Than They Look: Mark looks several years younger than 29. His actor Lee Petcher was in fact 33 when the play opened.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Mark drops his happy-go-lucky demeanor to call Phil out for trying to pretend he didn't know him, it's very jarring.
  • Oop North: The play is set in Manchester.
  • Shirtless Scene: Mark is down in the script to be in his boxers when he and Phil stay in the same bed.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the finale scene Phil is wearing a much more flamboyant choice of clothes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the final scene Phil is much more relaxed and at peace with himself.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Phil is suffering from it in the final scene.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Philip is the uptight one, Mark is the wild one.
  • "What Now?" Ending: The story ends as Phil is getting on with chemotherapy and Mark is expecting a baby, the two unsure of what direction their lives will take.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Phil has an affair with Mark while still with Patrick.

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