Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Playhouse Theatre, London
Spamalot was my third play in two days. All three were comedies, so my chuckle muscle received plenty of exercise.

Joe Pasquale played the pivotal role of King Arthur who leads his legendary Knights of the Round Table into various escapades over the course of the play as they seek out the Holy Grail, diverted only by numerous tangents and other surprising obstacles. Indeed, the plot constantly hangs by a thread as many songs and references to all things Monty Python are shoehorned in with alarming regularity. We experience the Finnish fish dance (or ''Fisch Schlapping Song'', as it was billed), various parrot jokes and, of course, a rendition or two of ''Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.''

I had been looking forward to seeing Bonnie Langford as The Lady of the Lake but she was absent and her role was taken by Anouska Eaton (who was excellent, by the way). The ever-changing actor playing the important role of God was taken on this occasion by Bradley Walsh.

In truth, the first half is stronger - and funnier - than the second, which becomes a little bogged down by seemingly endless gay jokes; perhaps a little lazy and obvious in comparison to the rest of the script.

Just when it seems like things have veered too far from any potential thread of narrative, King Arthur remembers the quest and there is a surprising resolution, giving Joe Pasquale a chance for some successful ad-libbing.

All good fun, especially for those with more than a little knowledge of all things Monty Python.

Further information and tickets are available here.

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