Make it your quest to go and see Spamalot!
Spamalot, the hit Monty
Python comedy musical written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez currently
resides at Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 27th
June. It is a fun, politically incorrect romp heavily influenced by
Python's film 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail' graced with extra
campness in the theatrical mix.
Directed by Christopher
Luscombe with choreography by Jenny Arnold Spamalot tells the tale of
King Arthur and his assistant Patsy (played by father and son Joe
Pasquale and Joe Tracini) gathering together a group of knights to go
on a quest to find the vessel of the Holy Grail. The quest is
instigated by the beautiful Lady of the Lake played and sung by Sarah
Earnshaw. Earnshaw has the perfect mix of terrific singing voice and
comedy and her songs are some of the highlights of the show, in
particular the Diva's Lament.
King Arthur's role is
98% comedy based and Pasquale comes into his own with some perfect
comic timing and mastery of his comedic talents. Thankfully the role
doesn't call for much singing as his, not so strong, singing voice
doesn't match up with the high vocal standards of the rest of the
cast. Saying that the first night audience at Nottingham Theatre
Royal love every second he is on stage.
Joe Tracini wows the
audience as the sympathetic Patsy and is clearly a gifted actor,
singer and all round performer. He has energy in abundance and is
clearly talent to watch out for. The heart glows each time he
Plenty of Pythonesque
silliness prevails throughout and fans who haven't seen the show will
be delighted to see a vision of Eric Idle as God talking to King
Arthur. All the character and situation elements from the film are
here on stage, well most of them. We have the knights who say “nee”;
the knight who gets chopped to bits by King Arthur but won't give up;
the singing and dancing Knights of the Round Table strutting their
stuff, the French Knights farting in the King's direction and
soothsayer Tim and the deadly rabbit.
As the lyrics go “ If
life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten and
that's to laugh and dance and smile and sing...” and looking on
that 'bright side of life' is what this show is all about.
Songs include Fisch
Schlapping Song, The Song That Goes Like This (terrifically performed
by Richard Meek as Sir Galahad and Sarah Earnshaw as Lady of the
Lake) Camelot and Find Your Grail both given full belt by the full
company. The most looked forward to and famous song is Always Look on
the Bright Side of Life sung by Tracini in fine vocal form.
Three other highlights
of the show are the Diva's Lament and the very funny scene in Prince
Herbert's chamber with a gloriously camp Richard Kent as the 'soon to
be wed' Prince Herbert who only wants to sing in falsetto.
Jamie Tyler is hilarious as a newly realised gay Sir Lancelot and has
the audience weeping with laughter in his song and dance scene
featuring the jaunty Cococabana influenced song His Name is Lancelot.
Will Hawksworth steals the show in the second half as brave Sir Robin
and the two actresses Abigail Climer and Holly Easterbrook bring not
only some showbiz female glitz and glamour to the stage but are also
excellent in their comedy roles.
Overall a superb
night's entertainment (or is that knight's entertainment?) which has
the audience in stitches pretty much for the whole show. It even
includes magic effects and audience participation and you are not
obliged to eat any Spam in the interval but this reviewer did because
he loves it. He could eat it day and night. Wonderful Spam!
Marvellous Spam! Spam and chips, eggs and spam, I could eat Spam a
lot. Maybe this reviewer is showing his age now. Exit stage left and don't trip over the shrubbery!