AND- if you'd like a flavour of the show itself listen to this Radio interview Gavin did for the performance in Dublin in 2014...
MP3 audio file [4.4 MB]
BOND - An Unauthorised Parody...
Following his first solo show, CRUSOE, Gavin Robertson focuses his attention on the Bond phenomenon, spoofing the movies eagerly awaited by millions, and exploding every cliche in the book(s)… Solo!
In which Bond meets his greatest arch-villain yet - Ian Fleming himself! Along with a slimy French sidekick, the usual female companion, and a time-machine!
Also featuring the smallest car-chase in theatre history!
With original music by now four-times collaborator (VAMPIRATES, HOUSE OF USHER, CRUSOE, ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET...) Danny Bright.
To date this production has been seen in the UK, Eire, USA, Russia and Australia, but there is nowhere he can't get to...!
The following review extracts are from the Adelaide shows in 2020:
"Three metal frames are the only set and evolve into many forms - creating tables, bars, bicycles, security gates at airports, a grave, a truck, a canoe and my absolute favourite - the road for one of the wackiest car chase scenes you will ever see!
Robertson effortlessly flips between all of the characters he plays, vocally and physically. His many accents are perfect, and he is the essence of all things Bond. He has nailed the elements of these much-loved films and in particular, captures their lame jokes, unbelievable plot twists and ability to jump from one location to another with ease."
"A superb suspension of reality that was real enough because we all wanted it to be, not to
mention that it was absolutely hilarious as well.
And then there are those “hands”. Gavin uses them to cut, slice, smoke, ride, plummet, embrace, shoot, stab, chop, and chase. He also uses them as a technical tool to segue from one scene to the next in a send up of those movie transitions where the scene “wobbles” from one part to the next
. Yup, had to be there…
This show is impressive in the manner in which one single human being can cram so many characters, scenes and props on stage. Excellent"
ADELAIDE THEATRE GUIDE
"The great performance and tightly written script make 60 minutes fly by in a whirl of laughter. Forget big tents and clever tricks, all Robertson needs is a stage, three props and Ms Moneypenny by his side to provide an excellent night of entertainment – which he does with a wry smile and wink."
And some of the rest:
“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)
“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)
“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)
“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)
"You’d be hard-pressed to find a better subject for parody than James Bond. The twenty-three Bond films produced in the last half-century (not to mention all the other parodies that have already been done on the subject) have given Gavin Robertson, the writer-producer-star of BOND: An Unauthorised Parody, a wide array of material to draw on for his one-man show. Yet Robertson’s task is by no means an easy one; it requires clever physical and vocal skills, and the ability to keep all audience members, from Bond aficionados on down, engaged and laughing. Fortunately, Robertson is, as his subject might suggestively quip, up to the challenge.
Robertson is a veteran of this sort of performance, having performed similar “genre-based parodies” for the past couple of decades around the world, including on London’s West End. Therefore, the show, as directed by Nicholas Collett, is understandably far more polished than most of the other offerings at Washington Fringe. Robertson and his team don’t leave themselves much room for error — you can count on one hand the number of props used in the hour-long production — but everything comes together seamlessly. The show’s many sound and light cues are synced to within an inch of their lives, and Robertson is a reliable, workmanlike performer, transitioning through the various characters he portrays with ease. He always knows exactly what to do to get the laugh, and he expends exactly the amount of energy necessary to get it.
As a Bond fan, I was pleased (but not surprised) that the performance demonstrates Robertson’s comprehensive understanding of the Bond oeuvre. He successfully embodies all the characters you’d expect him to — Bond, M, Q, Le Chiffre, the requisite Bond girl with an insane name (Honeydew Melons!) — exhibiting an easy command of the way these characters act and talk. His script is not only peppered with deep-cut references to a host of Bond films, but also with the kind of cheeky puns and double entendres that would make even a sixth grader roll his eyes (e.g., Bond, waiting to see M, is told by Miss Moneypenny to “go straight in;” hilarity ensues). The jokes are cheap, but you can rest assured that they all too accurately reflect the source material.
His choice of music often nods to other sources: a training “montage” is set to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” a chase scene to the Mission: Impossible theme, etc. Although superficially apt, these choices occasionally turn the show into a more generic action-movie spoof, diluting the show’s otherwise-sharp focus on Bond. However, BOND: An Unauthorised Parody achieves exactly what it sets out to achieve. It's not aiming for highbrow drama here. In that regard, it shares a lot in common with the best of the movies that have inspired it."
WASHINGTON CITY PAPER (WASHINGTON DC, USA)
"Written and performed by Gavin Robertson, with Nicholas Collett's direction keeping up the pace and ensuring that there is plenty of physical comedy to go with the words, we find an aged, or perhaps almost decrepit, secret agent 007 dragged out of retirement to fight an unknown villain, the clue being a cryptic poem and the threat of a bomb set to kill millions. What is the geriatric James to do? Why, tone up and go back to work, of course.
This is the Australian premiere of this new work but, with one performance in England, two months ago at the Bedford Fringe, it does not miss being the world premiere by much. With a limited run of six performances here, it will, for the time being at least, be the longest run this production has had in any theatre, if that counts.
Bond! An Unauthorised Parody, finds the man with all the technical gadgets, the smart answers, and a string of girls with extraordinary names passing through his bed, facing the greatest challenge of his career as he hunts for the super-villain and the bomb. But who can the dastard be, and what can he want with James Bond, specifically stating that this is the only agent who has a chance to defeat him.
It is not the man with the cat, nor is it La Chiffon, as evil, powerful, and dangerous as they might be. No, there is a new mastermind, lurking somewhere in The Shadows behind them, controlling their every move. Who could this ultimate Nemesis be? Why, none other than Bond's creator, Ian Fleming. Why he wants to challenge Bond, and how it all plays out, is explained in this hilarious production in which Gavin Robertson plays all of the characters, from Bond, M, and Miss Moneypenny, and all the villains, through to the obligatory almost naked "dolly bird".
Robertson used only three, self-supporting, rectangular steel frames for his entire set, moving them around to become doors, windows, roads, cars, desks, and a host of other objects, some of which would spoil the fun if I told you about them.
Robertson's fertile imagination has come up with a script and performance that encompasses so much of the Bond genre, but all slightly tweaked to take it just that extra bit further to turn it into comedy. The films almost parody themselves anyway, so this is fair game.
There are puns, jokes, clichés, double entendres galore, physical comedy, and a plethora of references to a host of things, a mere moment of Marcel Marceau, as Bond tries to escape a room filling with water, for instance, being enough to draw laughter from the appreciative and attentive audience.
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. Yes, the famous James Bond Theme, written by Monty Norman and arranged by John Barry, is there but, when a diamond is stolen, it is Henry Mancini's Pink Panther theme that plays, reminding us that the first film in that series was about the theft of a diamond known as the Pink Panther. I did say that this was clever, as well as extremely funny. Do not despair, though, because not making that connection is not important. You will still laugh at that scene because it is intrinsically very 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.
Robertson switches to and fro between characters, occasionally conversing with himself in two roles at once, and even engaging in an amorous embrace with, well, himself. You will be amazed, or at least in serious danger of moist underwear, at the exciting car chase as Bond, in his Aston Martin DB4, chases a villain, in his Citroen 2CV, along dangerously narrow mountain roads, skidding and sliding perilously close to The Edge, all live on stage.
There is never a dull moment in this performance as Robertson darts around the stage as one of his characters chases after another, he constantly recreates the environment by moving the three metal structures, and flips between characters in the blink of an eye.
Stephen Dean, Adelaide lighting whiz, handled the very complex lighting plot with perfect timing and, in the true spirit of theatre, Nicholas Collett handled the sound, as Robertson does for Collett's performances. The technical side ran like a Swiss watch, complementing Robertson's incredible performance. Adelaide audiences should consider themselves very lucky this month.
This production, like all of the plays in this season of great theatre, is suitable for families as there is no bad language, nudity, or any of those other things that seem to appear so often as warnings nowadays. This is good, wholesome fun but, there is one warning, that you might have a sore rib or two from laughing".
BROADWAY WORLD (Australia- Barry Lenny)