Reviews | Written by Anne-Louise Fortune 17/08/2022

007 Voices of Bond – Edinburgh Fringe

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival can get pretty frantic, as audiences hustle from one show to another, and try to cram as much into their schedule as possible. Sometimes, it all just gets too much, and what you want at that point, is to sit on a comfortable seat, and to not particularly have to concentrate for an hour. That aim can be fulfilled by experiencing this show, the title of which offers a very strong indication of its content.

Maia Elsey is the incredibly talented ‘voice’, tasked with leading a compact but competent band of four musicians through the theme songs from various Bond films. We do only have an hour, so choices have been made – and almost all of them were the right one.

We start with Diamonds Are Forever, originally belted out by Shirley Bassey, and its at this point that you know you’re in safe hands, cocooned in your comfy, padded, leatherette seat in the basement of the Symposium Hall in the Surgeons’ Quarter. Blofeld himself could arrive to torture you, and you’d probably just accept it as you stayed warm, dry and wallowing in pure nostalgia.

Having made a strong start, we move on to all the other Bond-Theme-Tune-Standards: Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice and Nobody Does It Better all feature, with interesting facts about the songs themselves, and the wider oeuvre of Bond music offered between songs. There’s also a nice use of video footage of “M” providing some similar information. Having offered us a selection of ballads, the performance moves on to the absolute banger which is Live and Let Die, in which the band get to rock out – and they plainly love it.

There’s only so much that can be included in the short running time, so we quickly dash through themes from the 1980s, before we move onto the modern-era and the theme songs associated with Daniel Craig’s portrayal of the secret agent. This is, we feel, the only point where a mis-step is made, as You Know my Name, the tune from the 2006 version of Casino Royale is sacrificed to make room for the much less familiar No Time to Die. Elsey’s rendition of Skyfall is however first-rate, and we think this would make the stronger farewell to the show.

All in all, this was a fantastic hour of fantastic music, that gives you a welcome respite from the intensity of the Fringe.

Ticket information can be found at this link.