As soon as I saw it was back for a seven week run I booked to go to see Spamalot, the musical ‘lovingly ripped’ from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
My best available seats from lastminute.com came in at row C in the stalls, very tidy. I’ve not been to many theatres in London in truth, but the Harold Pinter Theatre seemed very small and intimate, like sitting in someone’s living room. I had a look round while the jaunty Gordon’s gin advert played against the safety curtain until the show began.
All the best bits from the film are here, the swallow experts, Dennis the mud gatherer, the taunting French in the castle, the Black Knight (who had King Arthur, Marcus Brigstocke, laughing with some brilliant leg work after his arms had been cut off), Sir Robin’s minstrels and so on. The Lady in the lake (Bonnie Langford) has a fantastically funny role, and also has some some of the best songs, including the wonderful ‘The Song That Goes Like This’ and the hilarious Diva’s Lament (‘What Ever Happened to My Part’).
There are many other songs, including Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, sung by the put upon Pattsy (Todd Carty), He is Not Yet Dead and Find Your Grail, including a fantastic slow motion scene with everyone riding facing the front and Pattsy clopping his coconuts in slow motion alongside.
Inter sped between the classic film scenes there are some contemporary jokes, and on Saturday night (28th July) they included Boris Johnson riding across stage on a Boris bike and swipes at Mitt Romney, for his well thought out London Olympic quotes, and Paul McCartney from his seemingly embarrassing appearance in the Olympic opening ceremony the night before.
Even with all this the show compacts into just under two hours, but it was belly achingly funny from beginning to end and I’m quite tempted to join the knights of Camelot again..
“We’re knights of the round table…
We dance when we’re able..”