Theatre shows in July in Glasgow…wait, Panto in July? Oh yes it is!!!
by Isla McGraw
It’s Christmaaaasss! Oh no it’s not! The puns stop here…
Westender sent writer Isla McGraw along to chat to Trevor O’Connell about the inspiration behind his cracker of a Festive (?) show.
Websters Theatre is calling all Die Hard fans this summer as A Good Panto Die Hard takes to the stage. This hilarious musical parody of the blockbuster that redefined cinema and sparked an infinite debate about whether or not it’s a Christmas movie, is being retold as a traditional pantomime at the height of summer. And what better time than on the 35th anniversary of its release.
Four talented performers will embody the entire ensemble of beloved characters, ingeniously weaving their story throughout the familiar panto trope of the reluctant Prince and his trusty Sidekick trying to rescue the captured Princess from the delirious Baddie and his dopey Henchmen, supported and hindered inexplicably by People in Drag.
A Soundtrack to Die For
Not only will it pay tribute to the infamous action-thriller, but it will do so to the incomparable sound of 80s music with classics from artists like Phil Collins, Duran Duran and Run DMC.
The show is written and produced by Trevor O’Connell – an actor, writer and producer who previously starred in the 2020 comedy-drama Poster Boys. On Christmas Day 2016, Trevor switched on Die Hard at the time he was working on a panto and the brilliant idea to combine the two was born. Three years later the script was written in only one day, and after seeing Duran Duran at a festival earlier in the year, it was only fitting a medley of the band’s hits were featured.
With this being the first production of Trevor’s own work, he aimed to bring this story to life in a different way through incorporating all the theatrics of singing, dancing and acting, to create a unique experience the audience can revel in. The production is directed by Victoria Gimby, with credits including Sister Act and Rock of Ages, and stars Irish actor Shane McDaid as John McClane.
A Summer Panto with a Heart
In addition to the comedy and pastiche, the story at the heart of this show is that of a flawed and vulnerable man as he grapples with his resentment of his wife’s success. The last thing he needs is for her to be taken hostage by a band of impeccably dressed terrorists, but when the unimaginable occurs he’ll stop at nothing to save her, and perhaps even save himself and their marriage along the way. This musical parody hones in on the vulnerability of primary characters McClane and Holly, touching on issues of violence and male fragility while presented in the traditional panto fairy tale format.
With the fourth wall reduced to rubble, the audience will be held hostage for an hour while this show pulls off the intellectual property heist of the century. The onset of Helsinki Syndrome (as in Helsinki, Sweden) will be unstoppable, and therefore anyone who comes to see this show will be bound by the laws of human psychology to spread the word and make it the unmissable hit of the summer.
A Good Panto Die Hard promises 75 minutes of tugging on the audience’s heartstrings, with laughter, tears, and all the typical feel-good elements a musical brings. You’ll be itching to burst out your seat and dance along to infamous 80s classics. In the words of John McClane, ‘welcome to the party, pal’.
The show will run at Websters Theatre from the 28th to the 30th of July. Then at Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Gilded Balloon, The Other Yin) from the 2nd to the 27th of August.
Tickets can be purchased at: