As a fan of Monty Python, having been brought up on their diet of anarchic madness, I approached this production of Spamalot with some trepidation.
I needn’t have worried. The show, which is basically a stage adaptation of the 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is a superb tribute to the comedy team. It will certainly satisfy the die hard Python fans and will introduce a whole new generation to the genre.
The style of humour won’t be to everyone’s taste and it sounds ludicrous that a group of people slapping each with fish and a King entering the stage on an invisible horse to the sound of coconuts can be funny – but it just is.
The production, which is the brain child of Python legend, Eric Idle, has at its core all the ingredients of classic British humour.
It tells the story of King Arthur, brilliantly played by Bob Harms, leading his knights of the ‘very’ round table on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Fans of the film will recognise the taunting raspberry blowing French guards, the ‘Knights who say Ni’ and their demands of a shrubbery, the Black Knight, and the killer white bunny.
And there are a few more Python favourites thrown in, including the classic song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, which featured at the end of Life of Brian. There are also some contemporary references to Donald Trump and fake news.
For me, the star of the show is Sarah Harlington’s Lady of the Lake who sends up the musical genre to great comic effect with ‘The Song That Goes Like This’ and ‘Whatever Happened to My Part’ , displaying a stunning vocal talent.