Licence To ThrillIan Fleming has left us a legacy of more than just 12 novels and 8 short stories featuring the suave and lethal James Bond.  Apart from three decades of James Bond films, there are the celebrated songs that the movies have spawned.

And Bond-o-philes turned out in force to celebrate them more in this smartly staged, smoothly presented and somewhat nostalgic and reverential anthology directed by Terence O’Connell.  Spicks and Specks’ Alan Brough is the tuxedoed host, with stories of his childhood and pubescent idolisation of everything Bond, and his fruitless yearning for alluring nymphets with evocative names like Pussy Galore, when the only one who would speak to him was “Craterface”.

He is more than ably partnered by “Bond Shells” Monique Montez, Wendy Stapleton and Kaye Tuckman who sing the songs, severally and sometimes together, to the excellent accompaniment of the Cat Scratch Band, directed by John Thorn. He and these 10 first class musicians, most of whom are members of the Adelaide Art Orchestra, give fine support to the singers varying from thunderball intensity to midas touch delicacy.

The singers are not for our ears only either. Their dresses are spectacular and aided them in conveying the trademark Bond women seductiveness. Monique Montez’s voice suited 'For Your Eyes Only' better than her initial 'Thunderball', (in a stunning frock), while  Kaye Tuckerman showed us she can not only sing, but move with energy and sparkle, while giving the songs all the power, suggestive allure and double entendre of songs like 'The Man with the Golden Gun' and 'Moonraker'. Wendy Stapleton’s experience showed in her ensemble singing with the others, and in 'You Only Live Twice' with its familiar backing.

Lighting was used to good effect, with moving rays through just enough stage smoke to enhance the atmosphere, and the show culminated in the clearly eagerly awaited 'Goldfinger'. Alan Brough pointed out that it was Shirley Bassey who put the gold in 'Goldfinger', and it took all three of these sirens to do it justice. All in all, a fine evening, well worth the moneypenny.

The scores of James Bond

Part of the 2007 Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Dunstan Playhouse
20 - 23 June
$40 Conc $36
1 hr 15 mins
BASS or 131 246

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