Edinburgh Fringe 2014
"Bond is back… older but still wisecracking… Following performances in the USA and Australia, Gavin Robertson focuses his attention on the Bond phenomenon, in his latest physical cartoon-style parody – exploding every cliché in the book(s)… solo!"
Gavin Robertson plays an elderly Bond, brought back into service for another dangerous case on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Using his signature style of precise, never over-fussy, and always clever physicality, Robertson, is Bond, Bond-girl, arch enemy and a fair few other characters as a classic Fleming story unfolds.
Parody lies at the heart of this hour and Bond Fans will delight in the many homages to the movies. That’s part of the cleverness of the piece – we have parody, but also tribute. It is a testament to Robertson’s ability as a performer as well as a creator of solo theatre that he immerses us so quickly and thoroughly in the feel and facts of a Bond film we’ve never seen, yet all recognise immediately.
Corny one-liners give this a Naked Gun feel in places, and there’s no attempt to cut a deep slice out of the Bond film cake. The comedy is easy, very watchable and always enjoyable. Interest never dips for a second. The time flies by as the audience laugh in recognition at their favourite Bond moments, given neat and unexpected twists by Gavin Robertson.
Staging is simple and Robertson makes excellent use of hardly any propss, manufacturing most out of his own hands and other limbs. He is a performer from head to toe, and nothing is an accident. Pure skill.
The set is, ingeniously, three metal door frames which create different scenes and even vehicles. The inventiveness combined with bare simplicity is what marks out this production as quality.
I do feel there is scope for a more varied parody here. It really is there in places; in other parts it feels a bit safe .I’ve seen Robertson go further and challenge his material more in other work from his impressive repertoire.
That said, this is a master physical comedian at work, and I’m more than happy to recommend Bond! for its fun, its sight and verbal gags, its terrific central scene where Bond faces death and…
… I’ll say no more. Go and see it for a refreshingly enjoyable hour. After all, you only live twice…