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April 11, 2011 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Review : The Spy Who Wouldn’t Die Again

If someone had asked me a week ago what Octopussy was about, my guess would have been an adult flick following the ups and downs of a woman with a great many orifices. However, after a few entertaining nights spent educating my uncultured, unworthy self about the finer points of the James Bond series, I was glad to learn I was far off the mark. More importantly, when I saw The Spy Who Wouldn’t Die Again at Downstage on Friday night, I was able to have a good chortle at this kiwi take on the action-packed classic. The Spy, set in New Zealand in 1985, pokes fun at the controversial energy politics of the era and combines it with an exciting Bond-style mission down-under.

Director Tim Spite and his company SEEyD deserve a whole sack of kudos for pulling off this ambitious project. To bring to the stage a show that parodies one of the most well-known, big-budget spy action series in film history is truly remarkable.

The use of silhouette enabled the cast to cleverly perform iconic Bond moments such as helicopter scenes and gun fights on the top of moving trains. The four talented actors took on an impressive range of characters, from bumbling spies, bloke-ish cops and evil villains, to flamboyant tour-guides, elderly Maori folk and sexy French women. The various levels of the stage were used to the cast’s advantage. Some very funny scenes involving a trapdoor were highlights of the evening. Furthermore, the speedo-clad man that emerged from said trapdoor caused many to snicker.

The script played well to its audience, with references to the social and political goings on of the ’80s, but the David Lange quotes were a tad predictable and lacking in wit. This is my only complaint in an otherwise fine piece of physical comedy.

The Spy Who Wouldn’t Die Again
at Downstage Theatre
31 March—23 April
(6.30pm Tuesday-Wednesday, 8pm Thursday – Saturday)
$25 tickets for students


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