Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre
If you are at all familiar with the work of Monty Python, then you should know what to expect from Spamalot. There is no element of highbrow theatre here, nor should there be. The entire show is absolutely ridiculous in the best sense of the word.
Spamalot satirises the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur is played by entertainment legend Les Dennis, while his sidekick Patsy is played by the wonderful Warwick Davis. The two have fantastic chemistry on stage and, like the rest of the cast, are very clearly enjoying themselves throughout the entire show. Bonnie Langford’s hilarious performance as the Lady of the Lake particularly stands out and her voice is absolutely superb, even when singing the most ridiculous of lyrics.
The show opens with instant laughs from the audience and only gets stronger from there. Impeccably well-timed slapstick and dance numbers are a main feature throughout, but what makes this show so engaging is its metatheatricality. The outrageousness is always underlined with tongue-in-cheek references to the fact that this is a performance. If ever the vulgarity could be taken as too much, the audience is reminded that they are just watching a show and it is all for fun. The pure sense of enjoyment that emanates from the cast is completely intoxicating. The absolute onslaught of jokes never stops, and the more outrageous it gets, the better.
What is surprising about Spamalot is how, despite no attempt at being an intellectual performance, they manage to make it so topical. The whole thing is jam-packed with references to pop culture and life in modern-day London. Director Christopher Luscombe has done a wonderful job at making the show personally engaging for its West End audience.
The most important thing that can be said is simply how hilarious this production is. If embraced entirely by the audience, the silliness throughout is joyous to watch. This is theatre without any of the pretension. Even those who are usually adverse to musicals should see this show, it might just change their minds.
Spamalot is at the Playhouse Theatre until 8th February 2014. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.