CommanderBond.net for some time now is notorious for having people everywhere. One of our people currently works under the cover of ‘Claer Barrett’ for the Financial Times (who are unaware of her undercover work, so please handle this information with the usual discretion). Her real purpose, of course, cannot be divulged entirely here. What we can share – no, in fact must share – however, is a mission report from her latest assignment. Exclusively for CBn she attended the Sunday evening performance of ‘Martini Bond – The Hunt for the Spy Who Loved Her Mum’.
Review of Martini Bond, performed at the Camden Head pub, London NW1 Sunday 19th August 2012
by Claer Barrett
Forget “The Spy who shagged me”, the comic turn enlivening north London’s theatregoers is Martini Bond – the illegitimate daughter of James Bond, who is shaken but not stirred at the prospect of finally meeting her father, who is missing presumed dead in Switzerland.
The creation of Ms Bond, which marks the stage debut for writer and FT journalist Lyndsey Jones, has spawned a satirical farce laced with gags referencing 007’s exploits in the age of austerity.
Trusty gadget-provider “B&Q” expects Martini to self-assemble equipment for the mission to rescue her father; the principal baddie dreams of bringing about global economic collapse; and predictably, Britain’s foreign policy is in tatters (on the last night of the run, a sneaky line was added referencing the diplomatic brou-ha-ha in the wake of the Julian Assange story).
After enjoying two sell-out nights at the Camden Fridge Festival, the hour-long production manages to send up every Bond cliché in the book, but Jones also subverts the genre from a witty feminist perspective. Anarchic plotlines include menopausal Ninjas, a bazooka firing brassiere and (shock horror) a lesbian love scene to rival Mr Bond’s famous seductions.
The low-budget theme was hilariously – and quite deliberately – reflected in the props and sound effects (a bell rings whenever a Bond film title is mentioned), aided by some rapid costume changes and the cast’s deft doubling of roles. The intimate (and slightly sweaty) confines of the upstairs room at the Camden Head pub meant the audience really connected with the personalities – with Julia Collier’s portrayal of Franken von Banken – a Shirley Bassey-esque Bond villain – bringing the house down. One half of comedy duo Spring Chix, her partner in crime Clare Jones pulled off a laugh-a-minute performance of blonde bimbo Martini, all the more loveable for her thick Welsh accent and love of a swift drink.
Intriguingly, one of the cast was also performing a “double role” of his own – James Edenborough is a criminal law barrister by trade, and said he loves the chance to appear before an audience who are allowed to clap.
The next challenge for this intrepid team of performers will be supersizing their performance in front of a larger audience at Barking’s Broadway theatre when it begins its four-night run from September 20 to 23. Tickets are available from www.thebroadwaybarking.com at £7.50 or £12 in a two show deal offer, including the premiere of London Ballet Company’s ’00 and His 7′.
Cartoon image by Judy Walker.
Photographic images kindly provided by Lyndsey Jones.
Discuss the play in this thread
Taste this Martini at the Broadway Theatre, Barking from September 20 to 23.
I know I will.