Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? It’s the rage-inducing debate that raises its ugly head every festive season. Honestly, I don’t want to get into it, especially not in August. However, I will say – Christmas movie or not – it makes a damn good panto. Oh yes, it does.
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the concept of Die Hard as a pantomime, you’ve pretty much got the summary sorted. This is a farce filled with cheesy lines, over-the-top musical numbers, and absolutely no fourth wall to speak of. Making perfect use of its source material, this show delivers excellent entertainment that does not leave its audience disappointed.
Condensing a 90-minute Hollywood blockbuster into a one-hour show and still finding the time to get the music in there is no mean feat. With a four-member cast stretched as thin as it can get, the show does a remarkable job of capturing the attention of its audience and holding it so tight that you can’t help but feel a little gutted when there’s no more story left to tell. Each cast member takes on their role with a commitment that gives authenticity to the notably ridiculous plot.
Through an onslaught of charm and well-delivered dialogue, the cast get the audience immediately on-side, as every call of ‘yippee-kayee’ is met with the only appropriate response – and if you don’t know what that is, it’s probably not the show for you. The show is so joyfully delivered, and perfectly hammed up, that by the end you find yourself feeling Die Hard could have been an even better film if only Hans Gruber had broken into a few Duran Duran numbers along the way.
Ultimately, the concept of Die Hard as a pantomime is not a hard sell. Most of us are familiar with both, and most of us enjoy both, so at the very least we expect to be mildly entertained when both come together. But this production manages to take that enticing concept and deliver it in a phenomenal way, leaving its audience laughing all the way home – even as they deal with the infuriating chorus, the one that will remain stuck in their head until it’s time for that Die Hard Christmas debate once again. I encourage you to come out to the show, get together with your friends, and have more than a few laughs.