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Thrills and chills with a Bond called James in Kuala Lumpur

The name’s Bond, James Bond

This is the classic introduction of James Bond, Royal Navy Commander, a fictional secret service agent  created by Ian Fleming in the early 50’s. Many of us have grown up with films of this dashing, spymaster as he fought the cold war with gadgets and gizmos and a dash of romance thrown in. Pinewood Studios and Eon Films have been instrumental in bringing Bond to celluloid with 23 films so far. Apart from the highly improbable situations that Bond finds himself in, the  different gadgets that he uses, the stylised introduction and the slick production of each film, the Pretty Young Things he cavorts with, Bond films are known for their memorable sound tracks.


Licence To Thrill: A Bond Concert – Malaysia from Limelight Entertainment on Vimeo.

         
Limelight Entertainment brought to stage a “Licence to Thrill” a  concert of Bond movies’ unforgettable music specially to coincide with Tourism Malaysia’s MEGA FAM and launch of the 1MYES, part of their Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign.  I was fortunate enough to watch the first show , on the first day at the Istana Budaya at Kuala Lumpur.

Istana Budaya or Palace of Culture is the main venue for the performing arts in Kuala Lumpur. Located in the heart of the city,  it is characterised by its blue roofs and  has state-of-the art stage equipment that is comparable to that of Royal Albert Hall, London. With grand boxes on the side and comfortable seats  in the stalls and balcony,  the majestic looking theatre with opulent interiors can accommodate up to 1,412 people at a time.

The show

While we waited for the show to begin, dressed to the nines since this was a formal occasion, some of us had a look at the merchandise available and even managed to pick up Bond’s RayBan Aviators for a song. We walked up the majestic staircase to our seats on the top and  at 8.30 sharp the velvet curtains went up to reveal Imran Ahmad, well known author and a Bond enthusiast himself who introduced the show to us. 
Then came on the show that we were waiting for – 90 minutes of  lights, action and song. The show itself had two West End stars  David Shannon and Simon Bailey playing Bond accompanied by the silken voices of  Malaysian songstresses Salamiah Hassan, Jaclyn Victor and Nikki Palikat .  For Your Eyes Only, Goldfinger, Tomorrow never dies and Skyfall were just some of the music that we were thrilled to hear. 
There were dramatic sound and light effects in keeping with Bond’s passion for gadgetry and all in all it was a great performance that kept the audience riveted.

The negatives

The show was enjoyable but  most of us also got chilled to the bone with a climate control that was set at Arctic temperatures! I preferred David Shannon ( who has also played the Phantom of the Opera) as Bond and thought that Simon Bailey jiggled a bit too much for Bond who is known to be a cold, humourless spy. 


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