Totting it up, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve probably seen Spamalot around a hundred times over the years. That’s pretty impressive right? I think so anyway. So I was delighted to hear that after a successful revival in London’s West End last year, the show has gone back out on tour, pleasing fans around the country.
Here’s a little secret for you…. I’ve never been a fan of Monty Python (you don’t need to be to enjoy this show). Many people say to me “I don’t know Monty Python so I won’t understand the show” but you will! Spamalot is a hilarious, tongue in cheek look at musical theatre, with songs like ‘The Song That Goes Like This’ and ‘Whatever Happened To My Part’. It also tells the Python story of King Arthur and his quest from God to find the Holy Grail. He assembles a team of Knights to help him on his quest and along the way encounters Python classic characters like The Knights of Ni and the Rabbit!
The great thing about a show like this is its twisted sense of humour. The set is cheap and cardboard like, but this just makes it funnier because it’s exactly the kind of thing you would expect from a Monty Python show. When the actors forget their lines or start laughing (some of which seems scripted and other times is obviously not) this would usually be frowned on during a performance for breaking character, but for this kind of show the audience lap it up.
Spamalot is constantly changing, keeping the cast on their feet and the audience coming back for more. Lyrics are constantly updated to fit in with current affairs. References to Jedward and Boris Johnson have been replaced with Ant and Dec and Mary Berry along with old favourites Ozzy Osborne and Susan Boyle popping up during the show (not to mention la vache!).
Joe Pasquale returns to Spamalot as King Arthur, a role he played in the West End. Joe doesn’t have the greatest singing voice but has all the comedic nature to pull the performance off. Todd Carty has been a staple in the show as Patsy since the 2010 tour began, and performing up until half way through the west end return. Now he’s back for the tour and couldn’t be better cast as nice but dim Patsy. Sarah Earnshaw has played the Lady of the Lake over the years and if I’m honest (which I always am!) wasn’t one of my favourites. However, this performance blew me away. Her vocal ability was incredible and she scoffed her way through the comedy dialogue like a true diva. Will Hawksworth is adorable as Sir Robin and shines on stage, enjoying every second. Richard Meek gives a great performance as Sir Gallahad, playing the heartthrob well (I had a little crush myself)!
If you’ve never seen Spamalot then please go and check it out while its on tour this year. Its less than two hours of laugh out loud comedy and funny, whitty songs. And if you’re very lucky you might even end up on stage!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Spamalot is out tour around the UK until June 2015. Click here for dates and tickets.