You'd be forgiven for thinking a documentary about a stage play of 1979's Alien would focus on the stylish high school production that went viral a few years ago. Alas, this doc covers a more amateurish take on the material. Alien on Stage focuses on the bus drivers and office employees in Dorset, England. Several years ago they opted for something a little more off-beat than the typical crowd-pleasers they performed every year.
Directors Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer are big fans of the material. Were it not for them, this movie would literally not exist. They caught an early performance of the show and approached the cast to do a behind-the-scenes documentary. They also helped them rent a theater in London's West End for a proper staging for a sell-out crowd. This could have been a dynamite short, but as a feature length it drags quite a bit with a number of scenes adding absolutely nothing to the narrative.
Part of the issue is that the cast and crew are among the most boring people ever made the subject of a documentary. That's not to throw shade. They seem like nice enough people and are competent enough at their craft, but there's absolutely nothing here to make a compelling film. There's zero conflict. No clash of egos, no prop malfunctions, no understudies called up for their big moment. They rehearse, they perform, they take their bows.
Alien is one of the tightest sci-fi movies ever made. The directors of Alien on Stage could (and should) have taken some cues from the film they love so much.