[Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Ha Ha]
There have been a few times I’ve watched an old James Bond movie (generally one starring Roger Moore) when I’ve wondered what a James Bond musical would look like. Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger is probably as close as we are going to get.
Mia Blonde (Olivia Tennet) is James Bond without the penis or the racism. And more dancing. And camel-racing.
The plot is pretty standard nonsense — Blonde is assigned to find the titular plot device before an insane super-villain triggers Armageddon. Cue fighting, shooting, skiing, the world’s grooviest torture scene and dancing — lots of dancing.
Opening with a pitch-perfect piss-take on the James Bond title song, Mia Blonde comes on like a speed round of tropes from the famous spy series.
Brain dead henchmen, moronic double entendres, shitty special effects and poor dubbing. Everything you remember about those old movies is presented here with tongue firmly in cheek.
Featuring great/awful character names like Juana Fuckme and Ima Helluvabitch, the show races from one bizarre set piece to the next.
The dance numbers are terrific — the choreography is not too elaborate, but it is extremely clever and very, very silly.
Some of the double entendres fall flat, but, like the dubbing, it feels like a deep cut reference to the patchiness of the movies the show is satirising.
And to top it all off, the show ends with a song-n-dance number based around that most Bondian of tropes: shameless product placement.
On the acting (or is it dacting?) front, it’s hard to pick standouts. Tennet anchors the whole thing, somehow managing to keep a straight face through the nonsense.
Thomas Sainsbury plays Blonde’s rival/sidekick/romantic stalker(?) Phil McCracken, who enters the show as a belly-dancing assassin..
Perhaps best of all, supporting player Chris Parker plays an unnamed henchman who keeps running into trouble (and bullets).
Another successful installment in Dynamation’s run of movie parodies, Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger is a terrific example of what you can do with decent songs, a guy dressed as a cactus and a bunch of finger guns.
One can only hope that they pick any equally silly subgenre to adapt next time (I would kill for a musical inspired by Bloodsport).
Fast, fun and inventive, Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger is the best spy movie that isn’t a movie you’ll see this year.
Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger is presented by Dynamotion and plays at The Basement until 13 August. Details see The Basement.
SEE ALSO: Theatreview.org.nz review by Leigh Sykes