On Sunday 6th January we saw Spamalot with Catherine and Christopher.
This is the second musical version of a film that we have seen in the past three weeks. The other one was Priscilla.
The original movie was a bit of a Curates Egg, some parts were laugh out loud funny others fell flat. See my review of the film at this link.
Spamalot keeps most of the entertaining parts of the film and brightens up many of those sections that I did not find funny in the original.
It is pretty hard to mess up the discussion of swallows and coconuts, Bring-Out-Your-Dead, the anarcho-syndicalist commune, the God scene and the French taunting.
There are even some improvements. When Arthur looks up to God after being told not to avert his eyes, God tells him not to look up His skirt.
The story line is also simplified as Dennis (the anarcho-sydicalist peasant) becomes Sir Galahad and the Mortician becomes Sir Lancalot.
Sadly the Witch scene is deleted.
In the film the Camalot scene is very brief. Arthur says that is is a "silly place" and Patsy - his servant - notes that it is a model. In the musical Camalot has a much more extended scene where it is a casino with dancing girls and all the taudry glitz associated with casinos. Lots of fun though.
Many of the dull sections from the movie are brightened up. The second task of the Knights that say Nee is to put on a Broadway Musical which leads to lots of self-referential humour, and an extended new section on the need for a Broadway Musical to have a Jew in the cast. Tim the Enchanter is made more interesting as he hangs in the air "with no visible means of support". Naturally the lighting is arranged to make the ropes keeping him in the air only too visible. Even the rabbit is entertaining, as it is made very clear that it is a puppet, with the puppeteer visible after the Holy Handgrenade is thrown. This leaves "A CLUE", when a sign saying BONES revealed. Their resolution of this clue - which involves audience participation - is a fun new addition.
Another great addition is the Lady of the Lake, who lampoons the Broadway Diva. Her songs include: The Diva's Lament and The Song that Goes Like This, which, with exploding chandelier is a clear send up of Phantom of the Opera.
Bille Brown plays Arthur, with Stephen Hall as Sir Lancelot, Jason Langley as Sir Robin and Ben Lewis as Sir Galahad, Lucinda Shaw as Lady of the Lake ,and Derek Metzger's Patsy.
An entertaining and hilarious evening at the theatre.