IS Die Hard a Christmas film?

It is an age old question and for comedian Richard Marsh behind the parody theatre show based inspired by the film it raises a laugh.

Yippee-Ki-Yay, pays an affectionate tribute to the iconic 80s fan favourite by parodying the movie with both wit and rhyme.

The acclaimed tour is retelling the classic action film and is ready to light up the Mercury Theatre's stage next month.

Written by the comedian Marsh and played in Colchester by the brilliant Darrel Bailey, the performance will be on September 28.

We sat down with Marsh to find out all you need to know about the show.

So back to the question at hand. Is Die Hard a Christmas film?

He said: “People love to argue about this. Darrel actually mentions it in the show.

“Personally, I’m less concerned with whether it’s a Christmas movie than with the fact it’s a great movie.

“But, you know - the female lead is called Holly. Draw your own conclusions...

“To me, the Christmas film question comes from people, perhaps unconsciously, defining a Christmas film as one you can watch with children.

“I haven’t shown Die Hard to my kids - yet. But other than that, it has all the classic Christmas film ingredients. Except maybe snow. That doesn’t appear until Die Hard 2.”

But Marsh says Die Hard is a “lot truer” than most Christmas films.

He said: “Die Hard is more honest than that. The McClanes are separated and want to come together at Christmas, but their problems don’t magically disappear because the calendar clicks round to December 24.

“Die Hard acknowledges how hard it can be at this time of year. It’s loads of fun but also, deep down, it’s truthful.”

Marsh admits he is a huge Die Hard fan, first watching it on VHS. Over the years he had thought about a retelling and finally put pen to paper.

He said: “Die Hard was unusual in its day as John McClane isn’t a superhuman musclebound larger-than-life Arnie / Sly-type figure.

“He’s fallible, he’s self-critical, he’s scared. He’s a very human hero. And he talks to himself.

“Telling Die Hard via poetry struck me as a very funny concept when it hit me.

“On top of that: what if the cool, wise-cracking tough guy John McClane was played by the bespectacled, rhyming geek Richard Marsh? That seemed fun. And it has been.”

Marsh says he loved writing the paraody.

“I was pretty confident the combination of all-time greatest action movie and nerdy poet would work well and in fact writing the Die Hard part of the show was a very enjoyable process,” he said. “The biggest difficulty was having too much material and deciding what to cut.

“I wrote this show in the depths of lockdown, when it wasn’t clear whether we’d ever get back into theatres.

“So being able to perform the show at all is a huge pleasure and a colossal relief! On top of that, touring the UK so widely is a privilege.

“You get to see something of places you might not otherwise get to experience.”

Yippee Ki Yay is all about Marsh’s love for the film and the cast.

He said: “I’m trying to retell the story of film while also capturing the emotional experience of watching the film, both in the moment and over time.

“Our experience of a piece or art changes as we ourselves change. When I first saw Die Hard as a child, it was about a hero kicking arse.

“Now, watching as a parent, in mid-life, it’s about a marriage. I’ve done my best to bring that out in the adaptation.

“In addition to the Die Hard-related silliness, there’s also a ton of heart to the show and lots of people find it surprisingly moving. Please come along and watch Darrel doing the show. He’s great.”

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