Home   What's On   News   Article

A simple treasure of a show

Joe Pasquale
Joe Pasquale

Monty Python's Spamalot

Playhouse Theatre, London

A musical adaptation of the classic 1975 British comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a spoof retelling of the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Written by Python Eric Idle, with additional music by John Du Prez, it made its debut on Broadway in 2005 to huge acclaim, and hasn't been out of theatres around the world since.

A succession of stars have taken on the lead role of King Arthur, and its current encumbent is Kent comedian Joe Pasquale.

Pasquale, who lives in Higham, took over the role at the start of the month, and although he doesn't have a strong singing voice, he more than makes up for it with his comic performance.

From the moment he 'rode' his imaginary horse on to the stage, with his trusty aide Patsy following behind, banging coconut shells together to make the sound of the hooves, he had the audience in the palm of his hand.

Drawing on his experience as a stand-up comedian, he had everyone - including his fellow cast members - in stitches with his constant ad-libbing and asides to the audience.

The other star of the show is veteran entertainer Bonnie Langford, who plays female lead the Lady of The Lake.

Joe Pasquale with Bonnie Langford when he was in Spamalot - which also comes to the Orchard Theatre this year
Joe Pasquale with Bonnie Langford when he was in Spamalot - which also comes to the Orchard Theatre this year

Langford made her name as a serious musical theatre performer in shows such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, but she is unafraid to mercilessly mock the genre for this show.

She gives a brilliant over-the-top performance, particularly when performing The Song That Goes Like This with Sir Galahad, which parodies the sterotypical romantic duet in musicals, and The Diva's Lament, when she bemoans the fact she has been offstage for so long.

The two main stars are ably supported by a great cast who executed their parts perfectly, displaying brilliant vocal abilities and adept comic timing.

Particular mention must be given to Rob Delaney, sporting a fetching feminine wig as Sir Robin. His performance of the song You Won't Succeed in Showbiz was an energetic showstopper, and he coped admirably with several extreme moments of ad-libbing targeted at him throughout the evening by Pasquale.

As those who have seen the film might expect, Spamalot doesn't have any pretensions to offer highbrow entertainment, like some others in the West End. Instead, it has the relaxed feel of a student revue, mixing sophisticated wordplay and puns with sight gags and catchy comic songs, presented on a simple set.

The crowd-pleasing nature of the show is epitomised by its best-known song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, which was reprised by the whole cast at the end, with a lyrics board allowing the audience to sing along.

Whether you are a fan of Monty Python or not, you can't fail to enjoy the good-natured humour of Spamalot, and I guarantee you will leave the theatre with a smile on your face.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More