Fringe is almost here, and among the plethora of shows about to take over our city, is a performance about the world’s greatest spy, a man who is suave, patriotic, sporting a devil may care attitude, of course his name is Bond, James Bond. Perfect for newbies and know-it-alls alike, Shaken plunges head first into over 50 years of James Bond iconography. Pitting the seven ‘James Bond’ actors against each other in a race to determine, scientifically, which of them is the greatest all-time Bond. Charlie D. Barkle who is at helm of this productions spoke with TAGG about the work.
Charlie tell us about the process of creating a cabaret performance, where did you begin?
For me a Cabaret starts with an idea gem or nugget, it could be as simple as a gimmick, or a topic, or even something that I think is cool and really want to do on stage, for Shaken it was the latter, I had met Oliver Clark at a karaoke night that he hosts in Fitzroy and we hit it off, ‘Bonding’ over our love of James Bond movie themes. Oliver would belt out Thunderball and Golden Eye, where as my favourites were Licence to Kill and Goldfinger. Wanting to develop a simple, fun, and accessible cabaret show, I thought what better genre than Bond, approaching Oliver to join me for the ride and I set about writing and fleshing out the concept.
What is the inspiration behind this show, was there a particular moment in a Bond film that inspired you?
I’ve always loved Bond films, I jumped on board during the Brosnan era, but quickly went back and filled in the gaps with Connery, Lazenby, Moore, and Dalton. But more than the movies themselves, it the themes that inspire me, there is something truly magnificent about a Bond theme, both classical and pop simultaneously, the smooth strings, the pop of the brass, and then the singers, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Adele, Garbage, Chris Cornell, Louis Armstrong, the list goes on and on and on.
What do you think has been the key to the Bond film’s success, and how do you hope to emanate this?
The ability to reinvent and reimagine the character for different generations is moist certainly at the heart of the Bond franchises success, also the ability to evolve with an ever changing world, is certainly a key factor to its success. Shaken aims to celebrate the Bond franchise in all it’s incarnations, from the terribly misogynistic Connery era right through to the more enlightened and respectful Daniel Craig. By pitting the Bond’s against each other in friendly competition we explore the evolution of the character and how he has changed and adapted through history for a changing and developing audience.
What do you feel the performance brings to the Melbourne fringe program, and what sets you apart from the rest of the pack?
The pop culture arrogance of 3 simple words “Bond, James Bond“
Musically, what can audiences expect from the this show?
As our tag line suggests, Baritones Belting Bond, I’ve handpicked 8 of my favourite themes and Oliver and I have set our selves the task to add our own personal flair to the themes, We’ve arranged a pretty cool duet version of Skyfall, we’ve got a Tom Jones sandwich with Bassey bread, and we’ve got the Gladys Knight, and Tina Turner twin play.
Did you seek or perhaps find inspiration from anywhere else?
Conceptually I borrowed, strangely enough, from my love of mathematics and statistics. I’m a huge fan of a good spreadsheet, and the idea to pitt the various Bonds against each other came from there. I was watching through all 26 Bond films again, researching for the show, and I thought wouldn’t it be fun to pick out a number of key attributes and keep a tally of them as I went along. This formed the basis of the show giving us the categories that we assess each Bond by to determine the answer to the age old question Which Bond is the best.
Shaken, opens on Tuesday the 20th of September at The Butterfly Club, for more info click here