Happy Weekend, everyone, and welcome to my latest Saturday Sit Down. Today we have the multi-talented Lyndsey Jones joining us. Lyndsey is a journalist, playwright, and comedy writer, whose play Martini Bond: Her hunt for the spy who loved her mum will be on stage at Manchester Pride this upcoming weekend. So queue-up your favorite Bond soundtrack and say “hello” to Lyndsey.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Lyndsey. I’m sure readers will enjoy hearing about Martini’s story. Could you tell us a little something about the play?
Martini Bond: Her hunt for the spy who loved her mum is a spy spoof of James Bond. Martini is the long lost daughter of James, brought up in a single parent household. She’s tracing her family history and would like to meet her dad. Only he is missing — presumed dead — after an explosive encounter with a mad banker-turned-scientist. So Martini’s mission is to find her dad and save the world. But maybe she’ll just go shopping instead. After all, the family motto was live and let die…
Ah, yes, with genes like that, maybe a new pair of shoes would provide more support and comfort than a father like James Bond! You must have strong feelings about the Bond movies and books to have written a play based on them. What’s your view of them, and how did that influence your script?
I love all the Bond movies. I’m a huge fan. Goldfinger is my favourite and that has heavily influenced the script, from Pussy Galore being the inspiration for Martini’s mum to the famous laser scene being melded with a slice of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Wow, my brain is having a field day imagining what that scene must look like! You’ve certainly made this story current. And while Bond has been “updated” in recent movies, too, he is still such an iconic male character, a true “man’s man” if you will. Was there something in particular that led you to script a play that instead focuses on the women in his world?
Despite the glamour, I think the women have largely been ill treated by Bond. I mean, they seem to end up dumped or dead! So I wanted to look at how the Bond girls really feel about him. After all, he is an alcoholic chain smoker so it couldn’t have been that great kissing an ash tray. Pussy Galore must have really hated him. And he was never there for Martini. So perhaps all of that was enough to turn Martini off men for good…
Ash trays, *shudder.* That’s a household odor I don’t miss from my childhood. But getting back to your play’s take on this traditional male icon, was there something about the “James Bond universe” that had you thinking Martini Bond would be a lesbian?
In the book Goldfinger, Pussy Galore is a lesbian. And in the film Bond is essentially ‘turning’ Galore straight by saying ‘You’ve never had a real man before’. (Or words to that effect.) So I wanted to look at what would happen if she had become pregnant and then was dumped by Bond.
Hmm, I suspect the classic James Bond would have a difficult time absorbing this revelation about his daughter. But maybe an old dog can learn some new tricks like acceptance and inclusion. So after the performances for Manchester Pride, what are your plans for the play?
We have two performances in Manchester (August 16, 17, Lass O’Gowrie pub theatre, 7pm Tickets: £7 and £5 concessions). After that, it is unlikely that the same cast will perform it again. But we always say, Never Say Never Again because each time we think it’s the last performance, another opportunity opens up.
The play sounds so good and has gotten fantastic reviews. I wish you could bring it to the US. But as you say, Never Say Never, right? Now, this wouldn’t be a Saturday Sit Down without a couple of fun questions to learn more about our guest. So for starters, if you could have dinner with one author/playwright from any time, who would you choose, where would you take them, and what would you like to ask him or her?
I’d choose the playwright Caryl Churchill. I would like to ask about how she started out as a playwright and why she chose that profession. And how she survived during the early years of writing! As well as the big question of why there aren’t more female playwrights. The restaurant is easy – my favourite vegetarian in Brighton: Terre a Terre.
That sounds like an excellent dinner with an interesting guest. And I would love to know her answer to your question. And now for what I think may be my guests’ favorite question. If you were stranded on a deserted island with one of your characters from the play, who would it be and why?
Franken von Banken – the mad banker-turned-scientist who wants to blow up the world as part of her austerity programme. Let’s face it — you always have more fun with a baddie.
That is so true! And it also makes me wonder who James might choose…. Thank you so much for joining us today, Lyndsey. I’m sure everyone has enjoyed learning about Martini and her search for the spy who loved her mum.
If you’d like to learn more about Lyndsey and her work or help spread the word about the shows, check out these links.
Manchester Pride website
Want to go to the show? You can order tickets here.
- Martini Bond prepares for Manchester Pride (womanbitesdog.wordpress.com)