Monday, 11 April 2011


If you want a night of guaranteed laughter and fun at the theatre then Spamalot is just the ticket.
The show which is described as a ‘new musical lovingly ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ opened at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall yesterday.
Arriving at the theatre you could already hear the band in full swing and when you stepped inside the auditorium you were greeted by the colourful set which included a castle on one side and a forest on the other.

The show’s director, Christopher Luscombe, has taken the story by Eric Idle and John Du Prez and made it even more outrageous.

There’s nothing like the feeling of recognition and knowing. When the scenes from the film came alive on the stage the audience howled with laughter while reminiscing about the times they’ve no doubt watched the film.
The new scenes, however, created by Luscombe had a touch of modernity and this drew in the audience even more so. For instance, in act two we discover that Lancelot (Graham MacDuff) is gay. During the musical number, His Name is Lancelot, we see him and the dancers prancing around and his outfit would be familiar to anyone who has seen Matt Lucas in the BBC series, Little Britain.
During the Knights that say Ni scene the actors were laughing so much too and it was funny to see King Arthur (Phill Jupitus) trying to repeat the new saying that the Knight’s now say.
Another great scene at the end of act one was when the King and the Knights reached the French Castle. Patsy (Todd Carty) was left in the middle of the stage with a cow on top of him. His character is like the King’s slave and horse. He uses coconut shells to create the sound of the horse trotting. He is such a lovable character because of his simple wit and funny facial expressions.

The powerful voice of the Lady of the Lake (Jessica Martin) was amazing. Her skill for holding notes and taking them high was awe-inspiring.
Her character had a bigger role in the stage production than the film that it’s taken from. This is played on and sees her sing comical duets with Sir Galahad (Simon Lipkin) in act one and with King Arthur (Phill Jupitus) in act two.

The are a couple of scenes including the Black Knight in the forest and the killer rabbit which were ingenious. In the film these scenes see people lose limbs and I was wondering how they were going to do this on stage.
They managed to do it with such hilarity that I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet.

In act two the Holy Grail is found in the audience and one unsuspecting audience participant was pulled on stage to be a part of the finale. This was a great touch to the show and funny to see the person squirm with bewilderment.
If you haven’t seen the film (Holy Grail) then at least expect to see silliness in abundance when watching this fanciful musical.

Runs until April 16.

Originally reviewed for The Public Reviews

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