“The size of Camden Fringe festival allows creatives and performers to concentrate on their art rather than suffering the slings and arrows of Edinburgh’s outrageous misfortunes.” Off The Fence Theatre’s Artistic Director tells us what inspired spy comedy Agent 14 and why he is excited to to bring it to Camden Fringe. Book your tickets now!
The secret service stage show runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse from 12 to 18 August 2019 as part of the Camden Fringe.
Beginning the story in 1975, a Soviet spy is poisoned in London at the exact same time he is being trailed in New York. Impossible? Agent 14 aka Hugo Gunn in brought in to solve this puzzling case. He may be twice as old as James Bond but Hugo’s twice as good in this humorous tale of spies and counter-spies, casinos and charladies – and of dice and death.
The Fleming-esque tale of Soviet spies, disguises and deadly surprises is the latest play by Ann Richards to be staged by Off The Fence Theatre, following He Shot, He Scored and Girls with Balls. Off The Fence’s Artistic Director Gary Phillpott also stars in the production.
Off The Fence was founded in 2011 to stage new writing and create engaging contemporary theatre to tour. It’s first production, Market Forces, featured four plays staged in Leicester’s historic market place. It has gone on to stage productions including Godot Was Here, England Expects, Clamber Up the Crucifix and series of 11 plays, Hitchcock re:presented.
This year’s Camden Fringe features an eclectic line-up of 300 different productions. Joining Agent 14 in the London fringe festival are productions including Kafka adaptation Red Peter, journey to the other side Riot To Heaven and tale of adultery and social media, Letting Go.
Agent 14 runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate Village, London, N6 4BD from 12 to 18 August 2019, with performances Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 7pm, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 8.45pm and Sunday at 5pm. Tickets are priced £12. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Gary Phillpott on Agent 14
Who is Agent 14?
Agent 14 is otherwise known as Hugo Gunn. Since the first Age Discrimination Act, MI6 agents are no longer retired at 45, and so with 31 years continuous service as an MI6 spy, Gunn continues to keep the country safe from rogue foreign powers. He may be twice as old as James Bond, but he’s twice as good.
How did you come up with the idea for Agent 14?
The idea behind our play was to merge the writing style of Ian Fleming and the iconic screen presence of Bond into theatre. And to have a little fun.
What’s your favourite Fleming novel?
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Hard to resist the lure of high Alps and one of the supreme masters of evil, the sinister Ernest Stavro Blofeld. I devoured Ian Fleming’s Bond novels as a young teenager for their excitement, suspense and glamour. I reread a couple as a mature adult and was taken by the playful and artful style of Fleming’s prose. Although, thankfully, attitudes have since changed, the style remains and it is this that helps drive the plot and story of Agent 14.
Why did you want to appear at Camden Fringe?
Camden has a reputation for introducing great work to the world and anyone who is serious about creating new plays should try and perform here. The size of Camden Fringe festival allows creatives and performers to concentrate on their art rather than suffering the slings and arrows of Edinburgh’s outrageous misfortunes. John Plews, Artistic Director of Ovation and Upstairs at the Gatehouse, has been a great advocate and encouraged performance during the Camden season. Off the Fence raise a cheerful salute to Zena Barrie, Michelle Flower and the rest of their team for encouraging new work and ensuring that theatre continues to live.
And why did you want to perform at Upstairs at the Gatehouse?
Who wouldn’t want to perform in a building with a history that goes back to the end of the medieval period or in an auditorium that has been around since the end of Victoria’s reign (or at London’s top theatre at 136 metres above sea level)? We also had the great pleasure to produce and tour our play England Expects about Vesta Tilley which we brought to Upstairs at the Gatehouse in 2015.
Is there anything you particularly want to see at Camden Fringe?
There’s a lot we’re hoping to catch: Wretched Strangers’ Earthbound at the Cockpit; Rabble Theatre Company’s Sunday on the Rocks at Upstairs at the Gatehouse; Pipinski Productions No One Likes Us at the Hen and Chicken; Unmasked Theatre’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich at the Lion and Unicorn; Get Over It Productions’ If Nothing Happens at Chapel Playhouse; KatAlyst Productions’ My Name is Cathy at the Chapel Playhouse; Rendered Retina’s Form at Camden’s Peoples Theatre.
Full festival programme
For details on all 300+ shows in the 2019 Camden Fringe programme, visit the festival websiteClick here