Book: Eric Idle
Music: Eric Idle &John Du Prez
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys
Adapted from the 1975 movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot, Eric Idle’s irreverent musical take on the Arthurian legend has been treading the boards since 2005 and shows no signs of losing any of its popularity.
Python fans can (and do) revel at recognising and reciting all their favourite lines and it must be said, a knowledge of the movie does allow you to get the full effect of the comedy, but there’s so much silliness here that even newcomers to the tale are guaranteed laughs: a camper-than-Christmas Lancelot, a self-obsessed Galahad, the fish-slapping dance, the Knights Who Say Ni and the psychotic Black Knight: “tis but a scratch” are all here, as is the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog along with copious amounts of flatulence, fun, frolics, and err…coconuts.
The pace is frenetic throughout and the relatively short two hour running time means that the whole technicolored whirlwind of madness is over in the blink of an eye.
The cast is headed up by “national treasure” Joe Pasquale, often the only sea of calm in an ocean of madness, and his exceptionally talented son Joe Tracini who manages to raise laughs with the merest raise of an eyebrow or wiggle of the hips. The pair are more than ably supported by a fine voiced and comedically strong cast universally deserving of praise, though Sarah Earnshaw as a diva Lady of the Lakewith the finest set of lungs this side of Camelot, deserves special mention.
This is a good-natured romp that never takes itselfseriously and it manages to keep itself relevant by updating the cultural and local references with every subsequent tour. A welcome ray of sunshine and a well-timed pick-me-up in a very dull summer. Do yourself a favour and get along to see it.
Runs until Sat 6 June 2015 then touring.