Wilma’s Rating [rating=4]
Thankfully, after two years on tour and a brief 7 week run at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Spamalot is back for a long stint (booking until 13th April 2013) at the Playhouse Theatre, just by Embankment Station.
If you haven’t seen the show before then shame on you! Not only have I reviewed it on two other occasions (Richmond and the Harold Pinter) but it is one of my favourites that holds a special place in my heart.
The show is based on the Monty Python film ‘The Holy Grail’, where we see King Arthur riding around on his invisible horse with his coconut clonking sidekick Patsy (Todd Carty). The quest god has given them is to find the Holy Grail (the vessel used at the last supper) and along the way to find it, they pick up an army of knights and come into contact with many well-loved Monty Python sketch characters.
Anna-Jane Casey (who I remember most for her role of Velma Kelly in Chicago The Musical) has a string of West End credits to her name and brings a freshness to the role of the Lady of the Lake. She looks at home on stage, likely to be more at ease because her husband Graham MacDuff is performing alongside her in this show as Sir Lancelot (the sexually repressed man with a lovely new hairpiece)!
Todd Carty has been playing the role of Patsy (the simple sidekick) since the tour began in 2010 and has perfected the role over the years. Sadly, his time is coming to an end and he will leave the show on 24th November to take on pastures new. Michael Burgen will take over the role.
Special credit should go to Adam Ellis who plays the role of Prince Herbert beautifully. Adam previously performed alongside Anna-Jane Casey in Chicago the Musical where he played the role of Mary Sunshine in 2010.
Stephen Tompkinson has taken on the role of King Arthur, taking over the role from comedian Marcus Brigstocke. These are some big shoes to fill but Stephen warmed up and got better as the show went on.
The hilarious (tongue in cheek) songs carry you through this 2 hour show, with songs such as ‘Song that goes like this’, ‘I’m Not Dead Yet’ and ‘What ever Happened to my part (Diva’s Lament)’ as well as the well-known ‘Bright Side of Life’.
If you haven’t seen this show then you really are missing out on a treat. The reporter sat next to me had a confused expression on his face for most of the show (not knowing quite what to make of it). The thing is, you can’t take it seriously. Spamalot is one of the most ridiculous shows in the West End, but unlike some of the others, being ridiculous is what is fantastic about it!
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