Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the (very, very,) Round Table and their search for the Holy Grail. It is, of course based on the legendary Monty Python movie and doubtless that is the reason people (and by that I mean an abnormally high number of hetero-men who are rarer than hens teeth at musicals) are here.
From the Knights who say “Ni”, to the Black Knight who loses his arm with a “’tis but a scratch”, it plays right into the hands of the Python fans. And by the end you wonder if there’s any other way to ride around the countryside except by prancing around banging together coconut shells.
Steven Pacey (a veteran of Blake’s 7!) has a fine, strong voice, and makes an appealingly buffoonish King Arthur and his number I’m All Alone, raises a lot of laughs despite being gate-crashed by the rest of the cast. Todd Carty is Arthur’s put-upon servant, Patsy. He’s on stage a lot but he doesn’t exactly do a lot, however, he gets to sing the classic Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
Now to Bonnie Langford, (the marmite of British musical theatre due to some annoyingly precocious performances as a child,) now I’ve seen Langford before so it was no (pleasing)surprise that her comic timing is excellent and her singing voice could raise the roof. She showcases an amazing range of vocal styles here and applause to her for her willingness to send herself up.
The supporting cast were absolutely fantastic and the strength of their voices, acting and dancing made the musical a joy.
There are up to date references a-plenty and even a nod to today’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day! Spamalot makes for an energetic, visually stimulating, silly night’s entertainment. It really is laugh a minute and it’s breakneck pace and short length leave you wanting more. There was also a blink and you’ll miss him appearance by Sylvester McCoy – though, so brief was his stage time that as I write this I am doubting that it actually happened!