Little Theatre Company

Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent

Monty Python's Spamalot

by Eric Idle Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle

Performed: November 2016

Monty Python's Spamalot by  Eric Idle  Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle

Review by Caroline Kay - Burton Mail

In my youth Monty Python completely passed me by. My parents didn't watch it and so neither did I. In the 1980s and 1990s my boss was a huge fan of the cult TV programme and would often monologue 'room for an argument' which I never really got either.

However, fast forward a few years – more than I really care to remember – and last night I spent an entertaining evening giggling my way through Spamalot which is being staged for the first time in Burton.

The cast of the Little Theatre Company were, as always, excellent and I love it when local amateur dramatics push the boundaries to put on a show which isn't your run of the mill musical – and Spamalot certainly isn't that!

Set in 942AD and lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and his quest to gather Knights of the Round Table and to find the Holy Grail.

Throw in a bevvy of beautiful showgirls, a cow, a killer rabbit and some random French and 'not yet dead' people and you have a show which is fast and funny and, in parts, so bizarre I was laughing until tears rolled down my face.

Excellently directed by John Bowness who, as always, gets the very best from of his actors, and Katie Haywood's choreography was sublime – her portrayal of the Lady of the Lake a hoot!

In fact, there isn't a weak link in the show. From the prop shifters to nice but ever-so-slightly dim King Arthur (Leon Ratcliffe), coconut-tapping Patsy (Tim Robinson), the dashing Sir Dennis Galahad (Joel Kirkpatrick), the brutish Sir Bedevere (Pete Banton, the scaredy cat Sir Robin (Rob Tunley), the perfectly-played Sir Lancelot (Oliver Last) and the wonderfully high-pitched tones of Prince Herbert (Jack Hawkins) everyone played their part to perfection.

Jim Haywood is absolutely outstanding as Not Dead Fred and is a triple threat. He can sing, dance and act - and I am still really not sure if Fred is actually dead or not.

However, I have to make mention of Mike Mear. Again, he takes the laughter to another level and played Mrs Galahad and the Head Night of Ni with seamless ease.

The musical is just one big guffaw from start to finish and it doesn't matter if you are a Monty Python fan or not – if you want an evening where you can look on the 'bright side of life' then Spamalot has the feel good factor in spades – cue Sir Lancelot.

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