Paul T Davies reviews Yippee Ki Yay – The Die Hard Parody at the Mercury Theatre Colchester as part of its tour.
Yippee Ki Yay
Mercury Theatre, Colchester.
The most iconic line in the movie Die Hard has led to this hugely entertaining fan and fringe favourite. Fans will argue that it’s the best Christmas movie ever made as hero John Mclaine, (Bruce Wilis), fights evil Hans Gruber, (Alan Rickman), on Christmas Eve at the Nakatomi Plaza. A mixture of corny romance, as McClaine tries to reconnect with his estranged wife, and high-octane violence, the film was an immediate hit and has maintained a huge fanbase for decades. It was the fanbase that led to creator Richard Marsh meeting his wife in an online forum dedicated to the film. The play is not only a one-man affectionate tribute to the film, but their origin and relationship story.
At Colchester, we were treated to the alternate performer, Darrel Bailey, and the show lost none of its impact. The audience, made up almost entirely of fans of the film, adored the references, and there was some superb teddy bear action! In particular, his Rickman/Gruber impersonation was a delight, as show stealing as it is in the film, and we get the iconic bloody white vest, the fountain and sky falling action. But the remarkable thing is that the story is told in verse, adding a powerful and sweet element to the love story. It’s a mesmerising and hugely entertaining evening. It’s superbly directed by Hal Chambers, and makes inventive use of minimal props and one solo chair.
Whether it will bring new viewers to the film is debatable, because, after seeing this, there isn’t much need to as it’s a show full of spoilers! But that fan base will have a great time catching this show on tour!