On a drizzly day in 2010 I found myself in Stoke-on-Trent with not very much to do. I saw that Spamalot was playing at the local theatre and (having missed the original west end production) decided to pop along and see what it was all about.
With Jodie Prenger (as the Lady of the Lake), Marcus Brigstoke (as King Arthur) and Todd Carty (as Patsy) I fell instantly in love with the show. I found myself spending the next two years making trips around the UK to see the different people play the roles. I really don’t think I can remember everyone I have seen (but I am sure it is pretty much everyone. Amy Nutall, Hayley Tamaddon, Phil Jupitus, Matthew Kelly, Jessica Martin, James Gaddas, Jon Culshaw and of course Bonnie Langford are just some of the ones I can remember seeing play the lead roles on tour. I found myself flying off for random weekends in places as far as Edinburgh with a secret intention to go and see the show (sometimes twice in one day!)
Of course I was elated to find out that the touring production would be transferring back in to the west end for a limited run at the Harold Pinter Theatre and then following a successful run there, to the Playhouse Theatre where it played until finally closing last weekend to make way for the west end transfer of 1984. I don’t think I missed a single cast change while it was in the west end (and they happened regularly to keep the spam-fans like me coming back)! Warwick Davis, Stephen Pacey, Stephen Tompkinson, Sarah Earnshaw, Carly Stenson, Dick and Dom, Joe Pasqualie, Les Dennis, Jon Culshaw and Anna Jane Casey (who’s husband Graham MacDuff has been the original Sir Lancelot on tour). I don’t even know if that was all of them! Needless to say I have seen the show quite a few times!
Do I have my favourites? Well of course I do. Hayley Tamaddon was always a favourite of mine as the Lady of the Lake and I saw her perform many times. Bonnie Langford was the perfect diva to play the role too and it was lovely to see Jodie Prenger back to close the show at the Playhouse Theatre (as she had started the tour back in 2010). It really felt like the show had come full circle.
Such a wonderful show that has been a part of my life (and a not so secret favourite) for 4 years. It will be sadly missed by me in the west end but I have my fingers crossed for it to go back out on tour soon so the silliness can live on forever!