Productions by The Little Red Company promise soaring vocals, panache and wit, and their closing night of ‘Skyfall’ (16 July) was no exception.
Returning to Queensland for a tantalising sequel after wowing audiences at Brisbane Festival 2021, the production pays homage to the 007 theme song catalogue with big swing hits, style and swagger.
Backed by a 12-piece band, Naomi Price, Luke Kennedy and a cast of guest performers celebrated the iconic theme songs that have helped to shape the cinematic legacy of the spy licensed to kill.
Opening with the James Bond theme music, the show kicked off with the production company’s frontman, Luke Kennedy, performing Gladys Knights’ ‘Licence to Kill’. Dapper in a tuxedo, Kennedy’s vocals were strong throughout the show, with my personal favourite of the night his cover of Duran Duran’s ‘A View to a Kill’.
Making her way onstage, Price lent her powerhouse vocals to Shirley Bassey’s classic ‘Diamonds are Forever’ and the accompanying sparkling lighting brought magic to QPAC’s Concert Hall. A co-creator of the show, Price was a knockout siren in her performances, especially in her duet with Kennedy performing Adele’s Oscar-winning hit ‘Skyfall’. Although, while it was nice to witness the ease and comradery between the pair, oh how I would have loved for Price to have belted out the song in its entirety!
Beverly Kills - Image © Steph Do Rozario
The hallmarks of a good 'Bond' theme song are a sense of foreboding, seduction and mystery, and soprano Rebecca Cassidy’s cover of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘You Only Live Twice’ was utterly intoxicating.
Fellow guest performer, Mat Verevis, commanded the stage, with his cover of the franchise’s most recent theme song – Billie Eilish’s ‘No Time To Die’ – his standout performance.
A surprising addition to the show was drag performer Beverly Kills, the first Queensland contestant of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under’ season two. Performing alongside Price to Shirley Bassey’s ‘Goldfinger’, Kills brought spunk and sass to the stage, and matched Price’s wicked banter blow-for-blow.
Rebecca Cassidy - Image © Steph Do Rozario
Original choreography by Kate Wormald, performed by dancers Bridie Anstee and Shani Sweetnam, called to mind the silhouetted 'Bond' girls featured in many a James Bond film opening sequence, adding to the night’s allure.
The finale – a medley of hits from 'Bond' theme song vocalist Tom Jones including ‘Sexbomb’, ‘Delilah’ and ‘It’s Not Unusual’ – had many audience members on their feet, and perfectly delivered the feel-good vibes The Little Red Company does best.
Forget car chases, martinis, tuxedos, and gadgets. This production not only salutes the extensive soundtrack of 'Bond', but also captures the glamour, heart and cheek of the spy who thrills us.