‘I will tell you a very new James Bond story’

Gavin Robertson
Gavin Robertson

Former Horsham schoolboy Gavin Robertson returns to the town as Bond in his latest stage spoof.

Gavin, who attended Collyers prior to living in London, counts among his past successes genre-based parodies including his West End hit Thunderbirds F.A.B, Spittoon (every Western you’ve ever seen) and 2010 A Space Oddity (every space movie you’ve ever seen).

Now he focuses his attention on the Bond phenomenon in his latest physical cartoon-style adventure, spoofing the characters adored by millions and exploding every cliché in the books… solo!

Bond – All Things 007 is at the Capitol on October 22.

It’s all in keeping with Gavin’s established style: “The first show we ever made, I made with my then partner in crime when we did the spoof of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, which we took to the Capitol theatre 30 years ago next May.

“It started off doing arts centres and then we took it to the West End. I did the West End six times as well as Australia and Japan and so on.”

The approach worked: “We started off doing a spoof of something TV-based, and I ended up stuck with the language of film and TV, how film and TV tell a story. It is a real language. We understand edits and cuts and flashbacks. It’s a language that we learn to understand in terms of the way a narrative unfolds, and that’s the way I work. I tell the show as if I am making a film in my head.”

It’s an approach Gavin has gone on to apply to various genres, the westerns and the space movies for instance. Now it is Bond’s turn.

But he doesn’t do so from a geek perspective, he’s quick to stress: “It’s the kind of Bond stuff that you would get if you were in the pub and starting getting silly and saying ‘Oh do you remember that bit where...’ You don’t have to know all the Bond movies to enjoy this. That’s the whole point.

“Tackling the wealth of material and clichés from the movies felt epic, given that I’m alone on stage, but that means the comedy has even more impact. I also reference several other long-running film franchises and, of course, there are heaps of in-the-know jokes!”

He continues: “People assume I spent hours watching all the movies but actually I didn’t watch any! I wanted the clichés to be what we all know, not a nerd-fest of trivia. It’s from the school of raised eyebrow acting! It has a cartoon feel. Imagine Scooby Doo meets Austin Powers in a suit, and you won’t be far wrong!

“I come on as Bond. I don’t play James Bond. I play Bond, and I play him as me, and you know what a James Bond film will contain. You know there are going to be car chases, and you know that there is going to be a ridiculously-named female accomplice. I put it all together in a very, very typical story.

“I will tell you a very new James Bond story that you think you have heard before but probably haven’t. It’s quite fast-paced, and there are some corny one-liners, but the comedy comes from the fact that it is just me on my own!”

Gavin left Collyers in 1980: “I nearly went to Christ’s Hospital, but it seemed to me that the uniform was just unwearable. I think I had a teenage strop. I ended up at Collyers, which was horrible for the first three years, and then I discovered football, and then the school adopted me, and then it was all OK!”

Tickets cost £12 (concessions £10). Call the box office on 01403 750220 or click here