Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville to play God in Spamalot at Richmond Theatre
Downton Abbey star, Hugh Bonneville, has won the public vote and beaten stiff competition from Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Professor Brian Cox, Brian May and Michael Ball to appear as God on screen during each performance of Spamalot at The Richmond Theatre London from 26th – 31st January as part of Monty Python’s Spamalot UK Tour.
‘The Spamalot Charity Gods’ has been created to raise-a-lot of shillings for several charities supported by the actors who are playing God while the show is on tour from January to June.
Hugh Bonneville took time out of his busy schedule (of travelling through a large and expensive extensive forest for some posh TV show or movie) to film the part of God, which will be shown during each performance of Spamalot when the UK tour visits Richmond. His nominated charity is Scene and Heard.
The star of Downton Abbey said: “I wanted to play God in Spamalot in order to support Scene & Heard, a North London charity, which gives local young people living in challenging circumstances the opportunity to work with arts professionals and create theatre scripted entirely by the children. I’m grateful to the producers of Spamalot for this novel way of bringing attention to Scene & Heard’s inspirational work. I’m also delighted to be involved with the show because an ancestor on my mother’s side was in fact one of the Knights who say Ni.”
The role of God features in Spamalot when King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table are given their quest to find The Holy Grail.
As well as Hugh Bonneville appearing as God, actor and comedian Joe Pasquale is returning to the role of King Arthur and actor Todd Carty returns as King Arthur’s faithful manservant Patsy from Thursday 15th January 2015, after playing the roles in the West End production.
Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a kind-of new musical with a book by Eric Idle and an entirely new score for the new production, (well, almost) created by Eric Idle and John Du Prez. The much loved musical starts its UK tour tonight in Manchester!
Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls, witch burnings (cancelled due to health and safety) not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people. The show features fantastic tunes more magical than a Camelot convention, including He Is Not Dead Yet, Knights of the Round Table, Find Your Grail and of course the Nation’s Favourite Comedy Song (Reader’s Digest Poll 2010 – before it went bust), Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.
The new UK tour, which was previously on at The Playhouse in London’s West End and is directed by Christopher Luscombe, follows Eric Idle’s acclaimed performance of ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’ at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony – the world sang along, and Spamalot audiences get the opportunity to do so too! During the West End run, there were been 21 onstage moustache incidents, three suspected cases of swine flu (French pigs!), one outbreak of nits and 92 pairs of coconuts used.
Check out this little video I made last year when I played a cameo role in the West End production of Spamalot!