Malvern Theatres


Frenchmen shouting “Your mother is a hamster”, killer rabbits, the trail for a holy grail and coconuts for horses are just a few plot spoilers with many more hilarious twists and turns in this visitor to Malvern.

The Spamalot adventure is ripped off from the original motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with sing along to classics such as ‘The Song That Goes Like This’ in between laughing your socks off.

I can assure you Sir Lancelot will ‘prancealot’, the cast will sing using their ‘diaphragmalot’, not to be confused with birth control but of the respiratory kind, they will ham it up to the hilt as is performed by ‘amdramalot’, I think you get the picture by now.

I first saw Spamalot at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham three years ago with Joe Pasquale as King Arthur and former Eastenders actor Todd Carty as his faithful manservant Patsy. This time around it was Bob Harms as King and Rhys Owen clopping behind. Although not household names these pair were hilarious and who needs an all-star cast when the script and songs are so brilliantly written by Eric Idle, a true Monty Python through and through.

Act 1 started off with a ‘Fisch Sclapping Dance’ when then narrator introduced the musical starting in England but mistakenly a dance from Finland ensued much to the amusement of the audience, but the belly laughs didn’t begin until the monk’s chant where they comically kept pausing to hit themselves in the head with their bibles.

It just gets sillier and sillier as the first half travels along where the dead are collected up even though some are not quite dead yet and made more dead by being hit over the head with a frying pan.

The Lady of the Lake, played by Sarah Harlington, is the reason why King Arthur became a king in the first place and gave him his trusted sword. Sarah belts out the tunes in a shimmering sequinned frock and performs in a fabulously sarcastic way with lots of eyebrow lifts.

A giant foot descends onto the stage and God voiced by a recording by Eric Idle, the man himself, sets the task to the Knights of the Round Table who have been collected up from various situations to go forth and find the ‘Holy Grail’.

Act 2 gets cracking with the song we all know and love, to cheer King Arthur up, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. A survey in 2014 by Co-Operative Funeralcare showed that this was the most popular funeral song of its time and it’s clear to see why.

With its magical effect King Arthur was rejuvenated and back on track to finding a shrubbery for The Knights of Ni who then became The Knights of Ekki-ekki-ekki-ekki-PTANG. Zoom-Boing, z’nourrwringmm. An amusing battle with the Black Knight takes no prisoners as even with his arms and legs sliced off the Black Knight still wants more but decides to call it a draw.

The Grail would not have been found without the brave audience member Alan Smith who was sat on chair B10 where the grail was hiding all along. He was pulled up on stage and presented with a very fitting award, a tin of Spam. Many thanks also go to the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot (Jonathan Tweedie), Sir Galahad (Norton James), Sir Robin (Stephen Arden) and Sir Bedevere (Marc Akinfolarin).

This is a musical like no other and crashed through the fourth wall many times involving the audience in the show when actors got people out of their seats and squeezed through and even sat on laps. I was definitely laughing not only during the performance but when I got home too. Thoroughly entertaining and still stands the test of time.

Emma Trimble


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