We brainstormed ideas at a meeting in a pub a month or so before the party. We quickly agreed that the party would be fancy dress, or at least, Bond-inspired attire would be encouraged. We were going to hire a DJ and I knew where to get hold of some essential Bond tunes that, if they didn’t exactly get people dancing, would be certain to get them posing as if performing in the film series’ title sequences.
Other ideas were soon generated. We would decorate the venue (a trendy craft beer establishment called Tap Social on the outskirts of Oxford) with hangings, giant cardboard dice, and table props that would give the allusion of a casino. We would set up a projector and play random clips from the films. We would have a cardboard standee of Bond with the face removed for people to poke their heads through in the manner of the amusing cut-out scenes you get at the seaside.
Some ideas were interesting, but not so practical. I said I could bring my roulette wheel and we could create fake chips for people to play with. Everyone could start with, say, ten pounds-worth of chips, and the person with the most money at the end of the night would win a prize. Understandably, though, no one wanted to be croupier all night. (There are specialist firms that do that sort of thing; best leave it to the professionals.) I also wondered about having a menu of Bondian drinks, but the venue, which brewed its own beer, wouldn’t be able to stock the necessary ingredients.
|The cut-out, available from Amazon and other internet retailers|
|Poster created by Magdalena Wachnik. (We're all archaeologists, hence the trowels.)|
|Some of the masks and table decorations|
|The party's just getting started|
It all goes to show that, when it comes to James Bond, and my fellow party organisers, nobody does it better.