Monday, 2 February 2015

Review | SPAMALOT (UK Tour) Review February 2015

Spamalot, Christopher Luscombe's latest incarnation of Eric Idle and Jon Du Prez's musical, lovingly ripped off from Monty Python's The Holy Grail, returns to Birmingham for a third time. Since it's 2010 premiere, the musical that is somewhat scaled back from the 2006 West End version is at it's most concentrated, hilarious and faultless best. 

An outrageous conglomeration of various Python anecdotes from the other films and TV series,  audiences are taken nightly on a journey across medieval Britain with King Arthur (Joe Pasquale) and his noble steed Patsy (Todd Carty) along with knights (not days, but knights) of the very round table on a quest to find the grail and eventually turn the whole thing into a musical...

You won't succeed in Birmingham if you don't have any stars and this production is full of them. Not only the big 'TV' name stars - Pasquale and Carty, but in the supporting cast. Sarah Earnshaw proves to be in phenomenal voice as the Lady Of The Lake - a stereotypical diva with excellent comic timing - a warm and much welcome addition to the cast. Carty is a subtle Patsy, running around and clonking his coconuts. He earns most of his attention when doing very little, he masters the part of the almost silent sidekick and delights with his rousing rendition of Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. 

Richard Kent shows his versatility not only as Not Dead Fred (who can dance, sing and do the highland fling) but also in a hilarious turn as the flamboyant Prince Herbert - with an incredibly strong falsetto. Jamie Tyler is excellent not only as Sir Lancelot but as the Knight Of Ni, Tim The Enchanter and as the side-splitting French Taunter.

With Joe Pasquale firmly at the helm you can expect high volume hilarity and two hours of absolute fun. Pasquale is almost like his pantomime characters, the loveable jester, but here he finds himself King, which lends well to the insane plot... in what other musical would you find a scene-stealing Mary Berry mincing about with a trolley of cakes!?

Hugh Durrant has created the most charming little set and there's a fine orchestra. It doesn't drag on either, at two hours long Spamalot is just concentrated hilarity from start to finish. It's as camp as the Camelot YMCA, it's bold, it's British (and a little bit French) and you'll laughalot til you cryalot.

At Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 7 February. Tickets here.

Cast List: Joe Pasquale, Sarah Earnshaw, Todd Carty, Will Hawksworth, Richard Kent, Richard Meek, Jamie Tyler, Josh Wilmott, Daniel Cane, Abigail Climer, Matthew Dale, Holly Easterbrook, Richard Astbury, Ste Clough, Inez Mackenzie

1 comment:

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