Sheffield adults are being given the opportunity to go back to school this weekend - but it won’t be for spelling tests and maths equations.
Instead they have the chance to learn how to become a convincing flesh-eating zombie.
The lessons are being held in preparation for unique street game, 2.8 Hours Later, arriving in Sheffield next month for the very first time.
The cross-city urban chase game involves participants partaking in an immersive narrative in the streets of Sheffield as they try and escape zombies.
This year’s game, titled Survival, requires participants to collect much needed supplies from the “apocalyptic city” while being chased by scores of the living dead. In order to survive they must complete their task without being infected by the zombies, who mark their victims with ink.
James Wheale, who writes and directs the 2.8 Hours Later games, says that while joining in as a participant is both terrifying and fun, volunteering as a zombie for the games is the best way to experience it.
He said: “A lot of preparation goes into the game to make it as life-like and frightening as possible.
“This includes rounding-up zombie wannabes to put through our Zombie School ready for the game. While it’s great fun we do take it very seriously and if people don’t pass the classes, they won’t take part.”
So what goes into becoming a zombie?
According to James, volunteers are put through a half-day class where they will be trained to zombie safety, learn how the game works and be helped to bring out their inner zombie.
He said: “Chasing terrified people through city streets in the dark means the zombies must act safely. They’re then taught how to move like a zombie and perform while in chase.
“The best bit is helping people to find their unique zombie voice. One of the things that scares participants the most is the odd sounds coming from the shadows - they’re not sure if it’s part of the game or not.
“On the night itself, full costume and professional make-up artists complete the transformation.”
As a thanks for their hard work volunteers are invited to the after party Zombie Disco where the living dead and survivors join in harmony. They also receive a ticket to complete the games as a participant.
Zombie School takes place in Sheffield on Saturday and Sunday with a choice of morning and afternoon sessions. To attend, visit www.2.8hourslater.com/volunteering.
The 2.8 Hours Later games will then descending on the city on 12, 13, 19 and 20 of September. An additional 150 tickets are currently on sale for September 13 and 20 following the sell-out of the event.
Added James: “Participating is just like starring in a frightening film but some people don’t realise how convincing and genuinely frightening it is.
“We’ve known people to wet themselves in fear and have seen men hiding behind their girlfriends.”
Tickets start from £38 per person. To find out more, to watch the trailer, or to book tickets, visit www.2.8HoursLater.com