Spamalot is a light-hearted musical that provides an enjoyable couple of hours escapism. Created by Monty Python member Eric Idle and John Du Prez, it is “lovingly ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.
The show begins with a historian explaining medieval Britain before a miscommunication that results in some Finn’s coming on to sing the daft Fisch Schlapping Song and this eccentric style of humour continues throughout the musical.
Spamalot then gets down to business. It tells the story of King Arthur and his loyal coconut-clapping sidekick Patsy as they set out to find the legendary Holy Grail.
Of course, their quest would not be complete without taunting Frenchmen who “fart in your general direction” and other surreal foe, such as the Knights who say “Ni” and a killer bunny rabbit who guards the Cave of Caerbannog.
Much of the premise of the show is taken from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Most of the classic jokes work well onstage in the intimate surroundings of the musical’s home at the Playhouse Theatre. Many of the characters from the original film, such as the Black Knight and the Knights who say “Ni”, have been incorporated well into the production.
More recent references have also been added into the script, that include Jedward, Boris Johnson and Susan Boyle, which add freshness to the classic jokes.
The new leads, Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood a.k.a CBBC’s Dick and Dom, as King Arthur and Patsy were entertaining enough but Wood came into his element singing the iconic Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
Former Hollyoaks actress Carley Stenson gave a notable performance as the Lady of the Lake, letting rip with her songs The Diva’s Lament and The Song That Goes Like This.
Rob Delaney as cowardly Knight of the Round Table Sir Robin and Adam Ellis as the camp Prince Herbert also gave brilliant performances.
The simple set, which looks vaguely reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s cartoon drawings, works well for its purpose and does not need to be any more extravagant than it is.
For those unaware of Monty Python and Python fans alike, Spamalot succeeds in being pure entertainment, albeit a bit quirky, that will remind you to always look on the bright side of life.