Review: An Evening with Roger Moore, New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Love scenes, famous co-stars and his time as super-spy James Bond were among the topics as acting legend Sir Roger Moore took to the stage in front of a packed out crowd.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore

Walking out to the famous James Bond theme, the star was greeted with a loud applause and cheers at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre last night.

And Sir Roger joked he was ‘absolutely delighted’ so many people had made it for the show given the heavy traffic along city centre roads early in the evening.

“When we were driving down earlier today it was an absolute nightmare and I know it is the same this evening so it is great to see so many people here,” he said.

The actor told how he had got into acting after appearing as an extra in the film Caesar and Cleopatra in 1945 performing with actor Stewart Granger.

“I had to wear a toga. I don’t know whether it was because the spear I was carrying was bigger than everyone else’s or my toga was shorter but I was approached by the assistant director who asked if I was interested in becoming an actor,” he said.

“They asked if my parents would support me while I attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. My mother and father said they would which was very generous of them as at the time I was bringing in a few pounds every week.”

He attended RADA for a year. One of his classmates was Lois Maxwell, who would appear with both Sean Connery and himself as the original Miss Moneypenny, and another was Yootha Joyce, of George and Mildred fame.

Sir Roger said Hollywood star Lana Turner had taught him how to deliver a proper screen kiss when the two acted opposite each other in the film Diane in 1956.

And he said during his first days shooting on 60s adventure series The Saint, a police officer had approached the car he was sitting waiting for the director to give his cue thinking he had stolen it.

But the biggest cheers of the evening were reserved for his memories of his time as suave secret agent James Bond.

“I had a wonderful time making those movies. People used to ask me how I developed the look I gave when one of the villains was ranting at me,” he said.

“The truth was I imagined they had halitosis and that’s where it stemmed from.

“I am delighted the Bond series is still going on and think Daniel Craig is a marvellous actor. He did more action scenes in the opening two minutes of Casino Royale than I did in all of my films put together.”

Lee Watton