Monty Python, I am often told isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there is no mistaking their talent & their creativity. I remember watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail in my youth and laughing out loud throughout it.
The audiences tonight at the Mercury Theatre were also all laughing out loud throughout the entire show. Spamalot is a cross between a musical and a pantomime which lovingly takes the mickey out of itself and what we now know as a musical theatre.
From the opening with the Historian and the misunderstanding of Finland for England you know that you are in for an evening of belly laughs and giggles.
I particularly liked Bob Harms as King Arthur – sometimes Arthur is played as the straight man to Patsy’s comedy but Harms gave the character depth and showed some great comedic moments. Partnered with Dale Superville as Patsy it would be easy for Harms to be constantly upstaged with Superville’s rubber face and excellent comedic timing but the two worked in perfect harmony – never more so than in ‘All Alone’ – which has always been a personal favourite of mine – this was a wonderful piece of acting with Superville’s easy facial expressions and Harms command of the stage.
Working with a small cast means everyone must play a wide variety of parts and go through constant crazy costume changes and accents! I only missed there being a larger cast in a couple of the company numbers where a few more bodies would have stopped the stage looking a little bare but I cannot say this was detrimental in any other way to the overall performance.
I also should pick out Marc Ankinfolarin who seemed to be constantly on stage playing such a wide range of characters and who kept me in stitches throughout the evening – never more so that in the Lancelot number and I can honestly say I could not take my eyes off John Brannoch who was the third laker girl – he out danced the girls in every way!
I could name the entire cast person by person but they were all excellent and the whole cast had perfect timing and it was greatly appreciated by all the audience around me who cheered, laughed and applauded in equal measure.
Despite knowing the whole show word for word – dialogue and lyrics – I was so entertained and challenge anyone to go see the show and not feel the same. Get your tickets sit back, forget global issues and laugh! I promise you won’t regret it.