If you’ve caught Act/React’s past hits – Speed: The Movie, The Play and Titanic: The Movie, The Play – you’ll know what you’re getting yourself in for with this skewed and silly take on the ultimate festive film.
If you haven’t, the premise is simple: a team of actors condense a classic film, give it the full community theatre treatment and play all characters except one.
This stand-up crew of improvisers pluck audience members to play key roles, guiding them through the one-hour production with written cues, hilarious verbal and physical prompts and, when all else fails, jumping in to save the day.
I won’t give away which character is crowd-sourced in Die Hard but suffice to say audience selection is crucial to the show’s effervescence and delivery.
In the performance I attended, the fill-in thespian seemed uneasy and vaguely uncomfortable, despite ongoing support and encouragement from the audience.
I can’t help but feel someone with a little less reserve could have upped the enjoyment and energy levels of the piece.
As it was, the cast worked incredibly hard to keep the play ticking along at tempo with applaudable improvisational skills, a wickedly funny script and clever use of props, costumes and wigs.
Die Hard is deliciously low-budget but big on ingenuity and special mention must be made to ‘The Entire Special Effects Team’ as well as the re-enactment of Hans Gruber and his band of thieves storming Nakatomi Plaza.
Welcome to the party, pal!