Are you tired of a traditional Panto? Then it’s time to get shaken, not stirred!
From Rushmere with Love is a love letter to all things Bond (I’m sorry, Boond) and Suffolk itself. A martini glass filled to the brim with campness, this alternative panto promises nothing but a cheesy, roaring good time with scooter chases, Russian accents and a turkey dancing, of all things.
From Rushmere with Love, a pun on the Bond film From Russia with Love, does not take itself too seriously, often using the absolute absurdity of the show to its advantage, frequently breaking the fourth wall and acknowledging its own, very intentional, ridiculously fun plot. As an audience member, you can’t help but grin and shake your head at some of the jokes made, many of which I’m sure the fathers in the audience will enjoy.
Following the merger of MI5 & MI6, James Boond, (a double-O agent like none before him) is sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a famous nuclear scientist and amateur twitcher on the marshes at Minsmere.
From there, chaos ensues (did I mention the seductive turkey?) and the cast truly commit themselves to the insanity, frequently acknowledging how actors look just like other characters they’d seen moments before, or how the actors had forgotten their lines, and even chatting to the audience when the mood takes them.
Herb Cuanalo makes a fantastically suave James Boond, though by the end of the show even he willingly dons a turkey costume to get into Sizewell (where the rest of the turkeys are housed, of course). He’s constantly in character, never once cracking up or breaking, an admirable feat given all that was going on on-stage.
I’d be remiss not to mention the woman who donned many hats on the night, Alice Robinson, who played an incredible four characters! She embodied each character incredibly well, switching from a Russian accent to an Irish accent to an English accent without a hitch. Her central character, Kitty, was a standout as a fearless, intelligent and witty daughter looking for her beloved missing father. She also played an LGBTQ+ version of Miss Moneypenny with her character Spendapenny, which was incredible to see and a welcome surprise.
Sam Ebner-Landy was also a fun highlight of the show, particularly as the American Felix Stowe (catch the pun?). He was charismatic, relentlessly enthusiastic and, when needed, a loveable ‘villain’ named Nuggets.
The absolute stand-out of the night for me, however, was Lottie Davies’ portrayal of French villain Edie Effe. She wholly committed herself to being the campy bad guy (or girl in this case) that every Panto needs, evil laugh and all. Although she may have had the most stumbles of the night, she always managed to roll with it and, possibly, made the scenario even funnier than the original joke.
So, if you’ve been expecting an amusing respite from the traditional Panto, Mr Boond, then this show is the one for you. An unmissable, quirky and lively show that has nothing but love for Suffolk and the movies it parodies.
From Rushmere with Love is showing right up until the 8th January 2022, so, to purchase your tickets, please click here.