Company Gavin Robertson
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TOUR DATES FOR BOND IN 2014 ARE ON THE BOND PAGE.
Having recently been at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, here are a few extracts from reviews (plus a couple extra from previous shows)
“His subject is essence-of-Bond, and he's at his best when capturing and playing with elements of the overall myth, rather than reminding us of specific scenes from specific films. Inevitably he opens with the gunshot-at-the-camera bit, but then Robertson manages a perfect embodiment in mime of the girls-and-guns title sequences. Of course the villain will have a cat, but what Robertson does with it in a (literally) throw-away moment is, like the show, original and hilarious”.
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE (UK)
“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.
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 props, 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”.
FRINGE REVIEW (UK)
“There is real pleasure in seeing Robertson use his low-key physicality to tell a high-gloss story. A shimmer of his hands cuts from one scene to another, or suggests the soft-porn sensuality of a title sequence. One moment he’s a faintly Roger Moore-like Bond, the next he’s a slimy foreign hitman, the next he’s lathering up in a shower as the gorgeous Honeydew Melons. Without any lighting changes or sound effects or catchphrases, his gestures are precise enough that we always know who’s who.
Robertson knows which clichés to capture. He nails the films’ fragmented structures, too, as he sends our man from London to Hollywood to the Caribbean to outer space. And when his time-travelling plot calls for it, he dishes out a decent Sean Connery impression too. Robertson’s physicality ensures that Bond ! is good fun for the fond”.
THE TIMES (UK)
“The name’s Robertson…Gavin Robertson and this versatile and energetic performer slips on the mantle of Britain’s finest spy, as he embarks on his latest mission with a licence to make you laugh along the way.
Yet when I was first investigating the prospect of going to see “Bond” I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to be presented to the audience. I had the half-expected notion that it would turn out to be a rather lamely written effort, with a rather desperate actor prowling the stage with a water pistol, and then offering up some very dodgy impersonations of Sean Connery & Roger Moore! Although during the course of the plot, the raw distinctive vocal tones of the esteemed Sir Sean does eventually make a brief cameo appearance, this production is a most original and highly enjoyable experience that leaves you “shaken & stirred”(oops!) with entertaining amusement.
I must admit that this is the first time I have ever encountered the talented Mr Robertson and his “theatre of the imagination”, but I departed the show greatly impressed”.
EAST COAST FM RADIO (UK)
“This is English comedy at its best, clever, subtle, intelligent, but combined with great theatrical skills so that the comedy is not just on the surface but resonates in numerous ways, far beyond the Bond films. I did say that this was clever, as well as extremely funny. Those who catch on to the references and make the connections will simply realise just how clever Robertson's script really is, and add a knowing nod of approval to their laughter”.
“Each step is perfectly timed, each change of direction fluid and purposeful. In fact, his physicality is what this entire show is about, with a large proportion of it involving no dialogue at all. It’s a joy to watch him morph from character to character, to embody the blank stage space and make it seem full with just the aid of three skeleton doorways.
There are specific shout-outs to certain Bond books and films throughout, which may tickle the fancy of aficionados, but the majority of the references are broader, encapsulating the overall attitude of the series – its recurring themes and well known devices – and ensuring that the show is accessible to all who have even the vaguest exposure to the series.
As a take on the Bond franchise, this is a thoroughly enjoyable night out, and as an example of physicality, it’s an impressive offering”.
You can now buy BOND T-shirts available in the sizes displayed below as long as we have stock. Price is £12.00 which includes P+P within the UK. Please contact for international postage pricing. Payment is by Paypal.
This latest review of BOND from the shows in Kansas City, USA
December 13 2013
By ROBERT TRUSSELL
The Kansas City Star
The James Bond mystique has been parodied so often and in so many different ways — even by the movie franchise during particularly dreary spates — that you’d think there’s nothing left to spoof.
You’d be wrong.
Actor/writer Gavin Robertson proves that creative performers can still come up with fresh takes on the most familiar material in his one-man show called, simply, “Bond!” It’s a consistently funny romp through Bondlandia. This show, which is part of the annual British Invasion produced by Central Standard Theatre, stands in sharp contrast to “Crusoe,” that show he brought to the 2012 invasion. That piece, although sharply comic at times, was a philosophical reflection on our place in the universe. This show is strictly for laughs.
And laughs are what Robertson delivers as he dives into the 007 imagery. Robertson, performing in a black suit over a black shirt, is such a skilled physical performer that he can paint images in the viewer’s mind and has no problem playing two characters in one scene. His only props are three rectangular metal frames that he employs inventively in various ways, and two miniature cars.
He opens the show with his own version of elaborate movie credits we’ve come to expect from the Bond films and then launches into a delightfully convoluted story about the title character being brought out of retirement to prevent a madman from detonating a small nuclear device in Los Angeles on the night of the Academy Awards. There’s a scene at a casino gaming table, a car chase and some business involving a time machine in which novelist Ian Fleming travels back in time in an effort to erase his famous creation from existence.
The most clever aspect of Robertson’s show is that he never identifies himself as James Bond — his version of the character’s signature line is, “The name is Bond … just Bond.” We recognize M and Q and Moneypenny, but they are never identified by name. Robertson himself described the show as “fluff” in a post-performance conversation, but his artistry is so impressive that he keeps you constantly engaged. His performance also stimulates the viewers’ imaginations, which is always welcome during a night at the theater.
In July 2013, Gavin returned from a trip to Bangalore, India where he created and directed a comic 'Bollywood onstage' parody, 'Bollywood Kee-Maa'. Evam, who toured 'The 39 Steps' from the West End, produced ths new show for performances in August 2013, and touring later in the year... performances include shows in India so far, as well as Singapore, to enthusiastic reviews.
In September 2013, just prior to the first UK and Eire tour of new solo show, BOND!, Gavin was in Moscow in four showings of "2013: A SPACE ODDITY" At The MET (Moscow English Theatre) attached to the Mayakovsky Theatre. In December 2014 he returns to direct 'Sleuth' for the theatre.
October 2013: Plans for a three week trip to Adelaide with solo shows CRUSOE and BOND both playing in rep. have now ended, with fantastic reviews all round. Discussions are now underway for a return in 2015 - but with which show!? Watch this space...
July 2014 Gavin is at The Metropolitan Theater in Kansas City for performances of BOND.
Review - August 2012 from Edinburgh Fringe: Fringereview 4 stars!:
Gavin Robertson presents a solo show that ranges from Bounce Theory to Alzheimer's, relationships between people and between stars. Robertson's Crusoe stands at the centre, as do we all, individuals, beached in an inexplicable universe, connected yet alone, each stranded on our island of uniqueness (and separateness), a sum of our memories and perhaps, nothing more. From the first moment, this hour at Zoo Southside invites us to sit forward and watch. Robertson places his characters carefully, and delineates them well. Tight, meaningful lighting and soundscape; A simple gesture and we look to where an invisible object or person becomes visible in our imaginations. He points, we see.
It's creation realised on stage with simple genius. Much of this piece is an unspoken, assumed collaboration between audience and performer as his mime and movement create objects, people and places before us. This is what Gavin Robertson does with such ease and flow. At one point he creates an entire city before our eyes (and magically in your minds-eye too); and he does it with his eyes, his hands (which can even invoke a believable and beautiful sunset), with minimal gesture and loving physical movement. And it is there, both before us, and in the landscape of our imagination. Anyone distracted or not giving full attention in the audience, will lose the thread. Certainly for this select audience, Robertson held us for every second.
This is a collage of characters that feels mostly centred on a man with Alzheimers. It is touching, powerful and Brechtian. I caught myself encountering myself in the mirror of this piece on more than one occasion. In places this is truly electric, Gavin Robertson creates worlds with his hands, dramatic tension with a turn of his head. This is rare, priceless performance. There's comedy too as the lives of different characters swirl into focus, then melt back into the tableau. This isn't the classic tale of Robinson Crusoe. But it's a clever and often wise treatment of man in the cosmos, of alone and together, of love and loss, of memory and identity, of bounce and stability. It's playful, full of invention, and yet also based in some very traditional and well-worn mime and even clowning. Classy, textured and beautifully precise physical theatre, well written monologue, amounting to a must-see solo show.
Review: Fringebiscuit: 4 stars:
"An exploration of isolation -Tender, thoughtful and precise"
FESTIVAL JOURNAL : 4 STARS!
The categorisation of performances at the Fringe can sometimes be confusing; lines blur between theatre, physical theatre, dance, circus, comedy… Billed as both dance and physical theatre in the programme, Gavin Robertson’s one-man show Crusoe was a pleasantly surprising blend of both and neither.
With no props, no costume changes and a minimal stage set, Robertson creates whole worlds through dextrous use of mime, his voice and facial expressions, and a little help from sound and lights man Alex Wright. Philosophical in bent, the performance addresses themes like the modern malady of loneliness in an increasingly socially-networked age, as well as memory and its role in constructing identity. Tying it all together is a meditation on the Big Bang and the origins of our universe.
Robertson is a deeply talented performer, switching between the different characters that people his created cosmos seamlessly. All of his characters are lonely men, whether alone by virtue of their failure in relationships, a physical complaint (Alzheimer's), or physical circumstances (marooned on a desert island).
The piece is well paced and well written. Particularly effective are Robertson’s evocation of the poignancy of the Alzheimer's sufferer’s plight and the comedic highlights offered by the middle-aged man who goes to a club to try and get ‘back in the game’.
Although ending on a hopeful note, this is essentially a dark work with touches of black slapstick humour. Robertson’s virtuosity as a performer makes this piece a delight to watch.
'Company Gavin Robertson' (CoGR) was founded in April 1997. Work has been funded by Arts Council England, and with co-producing venue partners.
To date it has produced FANTASTICAL VOYAGE (1997 - 2000 by GR and Andy Taylor), SPITTOON (2000 -2003 by GR and Wayne Forester), THE SIX-SIDED MAN (2001 by GR with Andrew Dawson, with subsequent international tours in 2010/2011) I AM WHO AM I (2003), and from New Zealand, BLOWING IT (2003/04 by Stephen Sinclair and Stephen Papps) for national and international touring.THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (2005) was a co- production with The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, and in the same year the Company created its first production for a younger audience, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, from a story idea by Gavin Robertson, co-devised with Andrew Dawson and Robert Thirtle. THIS STARVING LIFE , was devised in 2006.
Two further shows for aimed at younger audiences have followed: A GRIMM WORLD, and VAMPIRATES, the latter as recently as 2011/2012.
The company is currently presenting CRUSOE: sand, science, sex, sea and a solo performance! You can read more on the dedicated show page, using th buttons on the left of this website...
Gavin has recently formed a working relationship with 'Scene Productions', Co-producing and
directing first with THE OTHER SIDE (2009), then VAMPIRATES (2011) and in Autumn 2012 with FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER'...
Gavin, as Artistic Director, also works away from the company and in the Edinburgh Festival 2003 appeared as 'Juror 12' in the double award-winning production of '12 ANGRY MEN', directed by Guy Masterson. This was followed by an Australian and New Zealand tour in 2004.
In 2004 Gavin also appeared in the award winning production of 'ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST', directed by Terry Johnson and Tamara Harvey, with Christian Slater and Mackenzie Crook, beginning at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to The Gielgud Theatre in London's West End where it ran for a six-month sell-out season. In 2006 it ran again at The Garrick Theatre, and Gavin then toured the UK with Shane Richie and Sophie Ward in the lead roles.
In November 2004, Gavin was asked to direct ‘RECIPES FOR DISASTER' for DC Entertainment at The Comedy Theatre, again in London's West End - a show that introduced science to a young audience - before a national tour and performances in Indonesia.
He also directed 'THE THIRST' at the Leicester Haymarket in 1993 which ran for six weeks, and has produced live literature events ranging from author Luke Rhinehart's sell-out appearances in The Brighton Festival, to touring his own show, 'SHORTS' through the UK and abroad.
Prior to forming CoGR, Gavin had a successful partnership with Andrew Dawson, again touring nationally and internationally as MTP, most famously creating, and performing in, their cult comedy, THUNDERBIRDS F.A.B. which has now had six separate West End Seasons between 1989 and 2002 at: The Apollo Theatre (x2), The Mermaid Theatre, The Ambassadors Theatre, The Playhouse and The Aldwych. It has also toured numerous times internationally.
Other shows from their partnership included a three-man version of 'THE THREE MUSKETEERS', directed by Olivier-award winner (WARHORSE) Toby Sedgwick; 'WHAT IS ALL THIS DANCING?' featuring Jos Houben (a founder member of Theatre De Complicite); and 'SPACE PANORAMA' which twice opened West End Seasons of the hit Thunderbirds spoof.
Internationally, Gavin Robertson has appeared at Festivals and performances all over the world including: Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Senegal, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, Holland, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Oman, Finland, Estonia, Bosnia, India, Russia and the USA, visiting some on several occasions.