Friday, 28 December 2012

Spamalot the Musical: Theatre Review

Spamalot is a musical comedy which has been “lovingly ripped off” from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As much as it stays true to the Monty Python legacy it also is packed with jokes about musicals, TV and the music industry which means there is definitely something for everyone in this show. The original Broadway production opened in early 2005, closing four years later. The West End production opened in September 2006 in the Palace Theatre, this production closed only a week before the Broadway production closed (January 2009). A UK Tour was planned in 2009 but this was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances however the tour went ahead the following year. The UK Tour finished mid 2012 and transferred back to the West End, playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre and later transferring to the Playhouse Theatre.Other productions have opened in Las Vegas, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, France and loads of other places!
The show follows King Arthur and his knights on their journey to find the Holy Grail. The show has been scaled down a lot from the original production, just one set with a few small changes. Even though Hugh Durrant’s designs are very ‘panto’, it still fits in with the context of the musical. So even though it’s got a very cheap feeling to it, it still works. The only thing that is sacrificed is the dramaticness of the Lady of the Lake entrance which was, if I’m honest, dreadful. Eric Idle has done a brilliant job with the Book, Lyrics and Music (music with John Du Prez), they’re genius! It is truly a Musical Comedy, possibly one of the funniest musicals ever to be written.

The role of King Arthur was played by Marcus Brigstocke, even though he was basically playing himself throughout the whole show he played it well and his comedy experience really brought his character to life, an average performance.Todd Carty plays King Arthurs right hand man, Patsy. He plays this role well. He’s very aware of the comedy in the piece and plays up to that wonderfully.
Bonnie Langford plays the Lady of the Lake and she is another one who plays up to the comedy, at times too much and a bit over the top but she worked with the material brilliantly and her theatre experience really contributed to her performance and made it a hell of a lot funnier as she was just taking the piss out of herself.
Robin Armstrong plays Sir Bedevere, Rob Delaney plays Sir Robin and Kit Orton plays Sir Lancelot. All three of these gave brilliant performances; none over acted nor under acted any of it and gave a polished performance.Jon Robyns gave a hilarious performance as Sir Galahad; he seemed to have great chemistry with Bonnie Langford. For me, the person who really stood out in this cast was Adam Ellis who played Prince Herbert. Hilarious performance, it seemed to come very natural to him and he should get a lot of credit within this production.
This show has something for all, although I wasn’t so keen on the Monty Python humour as it’s not my cup of tea, I still found it funny and very entertaining. It might not be the best musical around by I can promise you it’s the funniest.It’s worth a visit, wouldn’t say that you should rush to get a ticket but if you want a break from the other musical theatre shows about at the moment then this is the show you should be booking for.
Rating: ***

Spamalot opens at the Playhouse Theatre on the 14thNovember 2012

Click here for the official website

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