Writer: Richard Marsh
Director: Hal Chambers
Writer Richard Marsh is evidently a die-hard fan of, well, Die Hard. The 1980’s heist flick, which stars Bruce Willis and the late Alan Rickman, is what he and his now wife initially bonded over. The play – which received acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe – is told in rhyme. The writing is lyrical but also incredibly humorous. The script is cleverly constructed and delivered with ease by Marsh, who also performs his one-man show.
There are a great many laughs garnered, with Marsh effortlessly impersonating various characters. He has a ball imitating Rickman’s evil Hans Gruber and even manages to replicate the villain’s famous death scene. No mean feat considering the small size of the King’s Head Theatre and the limited set and scenery. Emma Webb’s movement direction, alongside Robbie Butler’s lighting design, ensures spectators are enthralled throughout. It is soon easy to forget the surroundings and become lost in the world created. Ben Hudson’s sound design also adds to the production.
Rather than a straightforward retelling of the film, Marsh simultaneously regales his audience with tales about fatherhood, his career and the monotony of his life. Demonstrating excellent physicality and comic timing throughout, the performer captivates his crowd. Although it occasionally pokes fun at certain plot points, this is ultimately a tribute to the much-loved movie but there is substance beneath the surface. The story of Marsh and his marriage intertwines nicely – injecting an emotive edge to proceedings.
The 75 minutes flow by seamlessly, with the production striking the right balance in terms of pace. The show closes with rapturous and well-warranted applause. A play such as this is certainly needed during these turbulent times. Marsh, along with director Hal Chambers, provides a fun and unique evening out. Although some knowledge of the film inevitably helps, those unfamiliar will still be sure to enjoy themselves.
Runs until 31 December 2022