Die Hard has long been a pop culture and Christmas movie stalwart, garnering a large swath of fans across generations. Hal Chambers’ Yippee Ki Yay, the unofficial Die Hard parody pokes fun at the movie in an incredibly tongue-in-cheek way whilst exploring the impact that this movie has had on people and their relationships.
Fondly makes fun of the film
Off-duty policeman John McClane (Darrel Bailey) is at an office Christmas party when gunmen suddenly attack the building and take over the LA skyscraper. Interspersed with this one-man re-creation of the film, the subplot follows a couple and tells the story of the role that the film Die Hard played in their relationship.
It’s a very self-aware show that manages to recreate iconic moments of the film with a fringe budget, fondly making fun of itself whilst setting the tone of the kind of comedy that we can expect for the rest of the show. It embraces the gap between the Hollywood film and fringe stage show, using it to fuel the odd inside joke. Chambers has written this piece entirely in rhyming couplets, which makes it sounds like a children’s nursery rhyme like The Night Before Christmas. There’s a nice rhythm to his words and whilst there’s a personal note to them, it’s really Bailey’s delivery of them that drives the emotional weight behind them home.
Bailey takes on an enormous task in this role, having to move between characters as well as plots with incredible speed. Throughout his performance he shows great control over his voice and body, using a range of accents as well as physically changing his body in order to move between the various characters. He performs Yippee Ki Yay with an air of immense joy, to the point where we can tell that he is having fun onstage, in spite of the extreme physical and acting challenge that the piece presents, giving off an energy that means that we enjoy ourselves a lot more as well.
Yippee Ki Yay is a very sweet and accessible introduction to the film Die Hard. Anyone who hasn’t watched the film yet, will not only love this version, but will be tempted to add Die Hard to their movie list.