Shaken Not Stirred: The Improvised James Bond Film is a charming and light-hearted improv show in which two actors aim to make up a new James Bond film on the spot, based on audience suggestions.
This is a truly family friendly show - everyone seemed to be in two or three generation family groups. There was an eleven year old's birthday party in the night I saw it, clearly having the best night ever. I hadn't realised how much children like James Bond and improv - A LOT, it turns out. But, like James Bond, the appeal is very broad, the humour gentle and accessible and the emphasis on silliness in perfectly pitched to appeal to pretty much everyone.
The actors, Alexander Fox and Dom O'Keefe, were friendly, energetic, and generous with their performances. Their obvious goal was that the audience had a good time. They also made use of a musician, who played classic Bond themes on guitar and saxophone. This was a really lovely addition, breaking up the action and giving some well-timed comedy beats.
Obviously, as an improv show, the content will vary from day to day. While some of the scenes didn't really sing for me - it's an improv show. That's the nature of the beast. I liked that, as the show was so strongly based on a narrative premise that the actors had in their sights at all times, the action's pace was kept up. This put it a serious cut above most of the improv I've seen - they are offering a lot more than simply playing a few drama games while up on stage.
While I would have preferred something tighter and more focussed on parodying the genre, I think I was in a definite minority. The audience were delighted with the ability to influence the action, the fun of making the actors look silly and think on their feet and the benign chaos of the show.
Overall this is an extremely charming and entertaining show. Very very highly recommended for fans of Bond, and big groups you need to please all of!