Perfectly silly and light as a feather, Spamalot is the two hour piece of escapism everyone needs right now.
Move over, toilet paper blues. The award-winning Hayes Theatre has ridden up to the Gold Coast on coconut horses to save the day with its absurdist take on the already-absurd Monty Python’s Spamalot, the ideal antidote to theses heightened times.
Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, in a frantic and colourful parade of beloved scenes and jokes from the film and other Python sketches, tied together with a book of hilarious and irreverent songs which lampoon musical theatre itself as much as they describe the various goings-on of the plot.
Director Richard Carroll has stripped the production right back from its Broadway roots, lending it a frenetic energy as the cast members race backstage to change into a variety of terrible costumes and wigs and race out, prance around, say their ridiculous lines, race backstage and do the whole thing all over again, leaving the audience slightly out-of-breath.
The entire cast is superb, with Marty Alix bringing both a humour and an empathy to Brave Sir Robin that had the crowd giggling and cheering for him all at once, Blake Appelqvist doing a wonderful Sir Galahad but really cracking up the crowd as the leader of the Knights who say Ni, and Cramer Cain playing a wonderfully pompous King Arthur. Rob Johnson (Prince Herbert) would probably have to win the award for Most Parts Played in a Single Production, but it was resident diva Josie Lane (Lady of the Lake) who stole the show with her powerhouse vocals and over-the-top dramatics.
The crowd singalong to ‘Always Look On The Bright Side’ was a highlight of the evening, as were some of the faithful recreations of classic sketches such as the rude frenchman (“I fart in your general direction!”) and the belligerent knight (“It’s just a scratch!”) Some of the humour, particularly around the campier end of things, was very much of its time, but there were still no shortages of laughs to be mined from this classic cache of comedy. It’s still touring for a reason!
You can still catch Spamalot tonight and tomorrow at HOTA. Tickets through the website.
Note: If you’re nervous about the on stage seats, don’t be. The audience interaction that happens up on stage is fun and lighthearted, and doesn’t embarrass anyone. We were actually quite jealous we didn’t get up there.