One Man Bond: Every Bond Movie In 60 Minutes is a show that delivers everything the title promises and much, much more. Highlights, quirks and moments of sheer brilliance are all recreated and commented on by the brilliant Brian Gorman.
Brian is man behind the incredible Joy Division play, New Dawn Fades; he's adept at lovingly presenting an insight into his passions, be it Curtis or Connery. The show chronicles over half a century of the most successful movie franchise in history, and after a celebrated performance at the world famous Pinewood Studios, the show comes to the King's Arms from Tuesday 17th to 19th July as part of Greater Manchester Fringe.
Incredibly, every James Bond, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, is given the Brian Gorman treatment. He even does an uncannily accurate Moneypenny as well as M, Q, and the infamous villains Dr No, Goldfinger, Blofeld, Mr Big, Scaramanga, Jaws, and Raul Silva. It's a whirlwind tour of every cinematic adventure of the world's favourite secret agent, and his often outlandish missions to save the planet.
This unique production features a single actor, without elaborate props, costumes or special effects, and takes the audience from the groovy, psychedelic sixties of the super smooth Sean Connery, through the slick Roger Moore years to the modern day bone-crunching, and ultra realistic, Daniel Craig.
We caught up with life-long Bond fan Brian to discuss how the obsession began: "I read all the Ian Fleming novels at school, in Wigan, in the 1970s" he recalled "I think The Man With The Golden Gun was my first, but I had no idea then that it was actually Fleming's final Bond novel, I loved them.
"In 1974, ITV bought the rights to show the films on TV, and I was lucky enough to then see them all, in the right order, starting with Dr No" he added "As an excited ten year old, I genuinely thought the streets would be empty with a James Bond film on TV. Now, they're on all the time..."
Who is your favourite Bond?
"My favourite Bond would be Roger Moore. I loved him as The Saint on TV, and he was the one I first saw on the big screen. Casting-wise, he wasn't really anything like Fleming's Bond, but he was perfect for the more comedic Bond of the 1970s. I was very lucky to meet him once, in his dressing room, at The Lowry Theatre a few years ago. Incredibly charming and loved by everybody.
"For a realistic Bond, I'd say Daniel Craig is perfect, and I also love Timothy Dalton's portrayal. Curiously, my favourite Bond film has always been On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), the only one with George Lazenby as Bond. It has everything, including the best ever music score by John Barry."
Which character is the most fun to play?
"The most fun to mimic, personally, is Max Zorin from A View To A Kill, played by Christopher Walken. Walken is a major favourite of mine, and he has such an odd way of speaking. Also, Timothy Dalton, and his grand, old fashioned, theatrical style..."
One Man Bond is a show that cherry-picks those iconic cinematic moments that we know and love. It is every film, in order, packed with memorable characters and, of course, those seminal lines of dialogue. Brian also throws in a little ad-lib here-and-there to pass comment some of the scenes and behaviours that may not have aged as well of others.
With Daniel Craig's tenure as cinema's greatest secret agent coming to an end, I asked who Brian felt should be next, "My next 007? I really don't mind them casting a relative unknown, as long as they are a good actor. There are lots of great theatre actors around, with little TV/film exposure; I trust the producers on casting, as they have shown they are not afraid to cast who they think is the right actor for the job."
Get along to watch Brian Gorman taking on the almighty task of One Man Bond: Every Bond Movie In 60 Minutes. Who knows, maybe he'll make the running for the next 007...
One Man Bond: Every Bond Movie In 60 Minutes
Tuesday 17th-Thursday 19th July 9pm
Tickets £8-£10 for further details see either the Kings Arms website – click here or the GM Fringe website – click here
Words by Ian Leslie