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Very Random Silliness
Monty Python's Spamalot
Member Name: IzzyS
Monty Python's Spamalot
Date: 18/11/08, updated on 19/11/08 (270 review reads)
Advantages: Quite funny, light hearted, entertaining, everyone seemed to enjoy it
Disadvantages: The seats (room), may offend those it pokes fun at, if easily offended, transport links
I went to see the musical with my parents at the Palace Theatre on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue while on holiday in London a few weeks ago, this is what its about and what I thought of it.
Spamalot is the musical version of the popular Monty Python movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a movie that my dad actually appeared in briefly as an extra, playing a peasant in the 'burn the witch' scene. I'll say right off that I found it a disappointment that the musical didn't include this song or scene, since I would have pointed it out to my dad if it was included but oh well.
This is definitely not a 'to be taken seriously' musical at all, its a comedy that features numerous send ups, as anyone who has seen the movie will be aware of. There was one character, the lady of the lake, the love interest, singing very over the top, singing about how this is her song, this is when she gets to sing very loud and be over the top etc., making fun of such songs that are often found in other musicals, indeed later on in the musical she re-appears singing about she is annoyed that she hasn't been included or seen on stage in so long. She also acts as the stereotypical 'love interest' of the main character too...
If your not aware of the story, I'd say that it doesn't have a precise, or strong, story as such, it is so random but the general story is that its set in medieval times in England, where King Arthur (currently being played on the West End by Sanjeev Bhaskar) recruits the knights of the round table and is challenged to find the holy grail. They go to Camelot and to France and encounter many different, rather silly and funny situtations, of different types, while the different characters are poked fun of, such as the prince and Sir Lancelot, to name a couple.
This is very much a farcical spoof on many levels and it was certainly enjoyed by, it seemed, everyone else at the show I went to. Sanjeev did well as King Arthur, poking fun of himself near the start as being an Asian king of England (innit?!). It was quite entertaining and as much as it does poke fun at gay people, jews and even Scots(!) at certain points, it does seem to be done in a very light hearted way, that you know not to take it too seriously, its all just a bit of good, silly fun really. The humour is fairly childish at points, with elements of toilet humour and such like but again that won't surprise anyone who's seen the movie this is based on and it is almost so random and silly that, that makes it funny in itself.
There are quite a few different stage props and sets used in the musical, which add to the OTT-ness of it (Over The Top). The camelot scene particularly comes to mind, that was quite amusing, with large bright, lit up props and an energetic song.
The cast and audience both seemed quite enthusiastic about the show and it seemed to go down very well, at the end there was quite a rapturous round of applause by everyone nearby me, so it seemed to be very popular and im sure that long time Monty Python fans would enjoy this.
It is nice to see a light hearted musical that is funny and doesn't take alot of work to follow, rather than the very serious and complicated musicals that can be around. I think that given the rather pessimistic news and economical situation at the moment, its a good thing to go and see, as some light relief away from the news, so in that respect its quite welcome.
Here's some basic information about the show itself:-
Director - Mike Nichols
Based on the book by - Eric Idle
Musical Score - Eric Idle, John Du Prez
Duration - Approximately 2 hours 20 minuts, including an interval of about 20 minutes (the programme claims its 15 minutes but it over run on Saturday and probably does most days. The 8pm performance I went to ended at about 10:20pm)
Theatre Name & Address (for the London West End version):- Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 8AY.
Ticket Order & Transport Information:- For details, see -
I would like to point out that the location of the theatre makes it quite awkward to find a tube station thats particularly close to it and when we took a bus to Shaftsebury avenue, the stop was quite far back and it involved quite a long walk to get back to the corner where the theatre is, so the transport links aren't particularly good for this theatre, if you find walking a fair distance quite awkward, so do be aware of this. Maybe taking a taxi, if you can afford it, would be better, if this is a problem for you...
Who's Currently Starring in the London Cast? -
We didn't have the best seats, being quite high up 'in the Gods', as I believe they say but my parents and I still enjoyed the show and those around us seemed to too. The only real downsides were that there was extremely little foot room at all in these seats, much less than you get even in an economy class flight! and there was the usual problem with tall people sitting in front blocking our view but we managed to see most of it. Of course there are opera glasses offered between the seats for hire, for 50p a show/go but we didn't have the change for it, so that didn't help.
You can buy programmes for £3.50 and there were a couple of other shop stalls, where you can buy tshirts with the musicals name on it and ones with slogans from the musical (such as 'im not dead' lol) and they probably sell a few other things too, I didn't really pay all that much attention to it.
It was pretty busy around where we sat and so it seemed to be very popular and enjoyed by all, which is a good sign. It was good for a laugh and I enjoyed seeing it, so I would recommend it, especially for Monty Python fans. I had seen the original movie at some point but to be honest I couldn't remember it, had I been more organised I should have watched it again before we went to London but oh well, I didn't so thats too bad.
I hope this review is helpful, thanks for reading it and thanks, as ever, for all r/r/c's. Its also posted on Ciao under my username there (the same name, IzzyS).
Summary: Farcical, funny musical that may not suit all but Python fans should love it
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