Melbourne Fringe: ‘Moneypenny – A James Bond Cabaret’

Fancy a meetup for a secret assignation in a dark space hidden beneath an official building late any night this week? Hear talk of handsome men and the deeds they get up to in their designer suits in the line of national duty? Be transported to exotic locations of the five star variety only secret agents can afford…all with your own personal chamber orchestra and diva voice to transport you there.  Sounds inviting? You are, therefore, a candidate specially-suited for Sascha Kelly and her musical team in their all-things-007 cabaret, ‘Moneypenny- A James Bond Cabaret‘.

This showstopper will impress with its insider knowledge of plot, in-depth analysis of all things Bond, and parade of show tunes that will send you into an ecstatic reverie as you recall each film and the men who became the name ‘Bond’. The ultimate cinematic pop culture anthems meet classical music in a luxurious decadence of sound, song, and humour.

It’s 2016 and Miss Moneypenny, Bond’s famous right-hand-woman, is planning her annual leave and training the handover staff. Though she sports a pink cardigan and black reading glasses that shout ‘secretary’, she knows a thing or two about the high life. She talks of appropriate phone and messaging protocols, how to clean up Bond’s dead bodies, and most importantly, how to juggle the women and five-star hotel bills.

The story is hilariously told through soundbites the various actors who played Bond (but let’s not forget Judi Dench as ‘ M’). Kelly recounts the men who have filled that role as she gently strokes their framed pictures atop her desk. It’s a roll call of each decades’ leading men — Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Daniel Craig. There is one newbie who sweeps the desktop clear of all those — a British blonde many tip to be the next 007… But you’ll have to attend the show to uncover this Top Secret information.

It’s smooth sailing from the moment this show starts. Kelly impresses with her command of the stage. With an operatic voice, she discusses the innermost details the world’s most wanted men (by women). A set list that counts Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Skyfall, Goldeneye, Diamonds Are Forever and Nobody Does It Better at its core will transport you into delirium. Kelly’s lines are witty and ironic and she banters with her band, who relish whipping up the transatlantic tunes.

‘Moneypenny’ is a clever work, well crafted, tight, and executed expertly. With a bullet. Like the dark night you enter from, and exit into, the secrets of government remain in the mind only and are for a select few. Make sure you enrol for this one and don’t miss out.

– Sarah
Sarah W. is a dance-trained theatre lover with a flair for the bold, and non-traditional performance platforms. On-the-street or in the box seat, she is always looking for quality works that push the envelope!

The season of this 50-minute gem runs at The Basement, Hawthorn Arts Centre, 20-25 September, 9:30pm Tuesday – Saturday, Sunday 3pm. Book tickets now.
The venue is wheelchair accessible.

For more Melbourne Fringe 2016, check out our guide and all our reviews.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Hawthorn Arts Centre and Melbourne Fringe.
Image credit: Melbourne Fringe.