Until Sat Feb 8 2014
(C) Matrix Pictures
Time Out rating:
Not yet rated
Time Out says
Wed Nov 21 2012
Current cast includes Les Dennis as King Arthur from Aug 3 until Nov 2 and Warwick Davis stars as Patsy from 23 Sep to 19 Oct.
Fans of 'The Holy Grail', look away no… actually, don't bother. You've already seen it.
For the first hour of the show, ‘Spamalot’ grinds along, tediously reproducing the faux-Arthurian script word-for-word in some sort of bizarre theatrical interpretation of Xeroxing. A scrubbed-pink Les Dennis gargles songs about being Arthur in a strangled RP falsetto that’s half an octave away from his Mavis Riley impersonation. And Warwick Davis’s turn as Patsy – on his West End debut – is as animated as the wooden backdrop. By the interval, given what they’ve done to the original, you’re hoping they at least bought it dinner first.
Still, as the second half gets underway, we’re urged to ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. And – despite the song being crowbarred into a performance of ‘The Holy Grail’ rather than ‘The Life of Brian’, from whence it came – it’s advice that’s hard not to follow. After all, how often do you get to watch a ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ reject awkwardly sweating his way through scat jazz while an ex-Ewok gets brained by a giant fluffy cow? Plus, the show actually deviates from the ‘Holy Grail’ – and it’s not half bad.
There’s a charmingly daft reimagining of The Knights of Ni as knights who attempt to sing the chorus to ‘True Colours’. And as the plot gets increasingly po-mo – chorus singers dressed like clipboard-toting stage hands, a challenge to create a hit West End musical, an attempt to find the grail behind ‘the fourth wall’ – you can almost forgive deliberately cheapo production values that see the knights of the round table resplendent in cotton-wool fringed bedspreads.
Almost. Just depends how much of the original you can remember, really.
By Alexi Duggins
Playhouse Theatre Northumberland Avenue
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020 7492 9930
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- Date Time Price information
Sat Jun 120:00£20-£75. Runs 2hrsBuy tickets
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