If you are totally immersed in the mythology of James Bond and his adversaries, this show will delight and amuse you. At its core is vengeance and it plays up villainy. It combines a play in three acts with fun facts from the Bond pantheon – comparing the books and the films.
The contention of the theatrical spoof is that a young girl is absorbed in the adventures of Bond as read to her by her father (Rob Lloyd). She rides every bump and then it all goes pear shaped. Love for Bond turns to hatred. She dedicates her life to getting even.
15 years later, now all grown up and known as Upper Hand (Seon Williams), she is hired by arch villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld* (David Innes) to destroy the MI6 agent. She joins forces with other nefarious characters, including Pussy Galore (Louisa Fitzhardinge), to name but one.
The level of detail in the 55-minute show, written by David Innes and directed by Rob Lloyd, is mighty impressive. It is particularly well acted and played out, tongue firmly planted in cheek, but with due reverence to the legacy of Ian Fleming. All except Seon Williams play half a dozen or more characters. Louisa Fitzhardinge has a terrific, melodic singing voice – belting out the theme music for both A Bond Among Us and The Awesome Henchman from SPECTRE.
A Bond Among Us is all about exaggerated actions and personas. Importantly, it wouldn’t be as good as it is without a huge focus on sound effects (such an effective device). These liberally punctuate the piece as characters duck, weave and scowl. It is a very full show. Delivered at pace, a great deal happens.
A Bond Among Us is a homage with a decided difference. It celebrates 60 years since the release of the first James Bond film in the official franchise, Dr No. If you are of the belief that the ultimate tribute is to laugh and have fun with a movie series that has stood the test of time, you should buy a ticket to see this. Peals of laughter are a mainstay for a production that can be enjoyed by generations of Bond fans.
It is playing at The Butterfly Club, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, until 17th April, 2022.
* Instead of his white Persian cat, Blofeld has with him Gertrude the duck.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- Lano & Woodley: Moby Dick (Comedy Theatre) – theatre review
- Savage in Limbo (All Sorts Productions) – theatre review
- Die Hard: The Move, The Play (Act React) – Theatre Review
Alex First is a Melbourne based journalist and communications specialist. He contributes to The Blurb on film and theatre.