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What We're Watching - Spamalot, Palace Theatre

Spamalot, the musical, lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, has returned to send a ripple of laughter through the theatre goers of Manchester.

Produced by Selladoor and based on the book by Eric Idle, it is classic British humour at its best - slapstick, japes, and fun, mixed with a stage presence that really packs a punch.

Opening the show with a fish slapping dance pretty much sets the tone for the next couple of hours. King Arthur’s entrance on to the stage on an invisible horse never gets dull, helped along by his loyal aide Patsy - expertly played by Rhys Owens - and a set of clattering coconuts.

The show tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the round table in a rather silly, but extremely creative way. A mockery of musicals, the storyline is bizarre, but it’s quirky and entertaining, subtly brought up to date with a dash of Donald Trump, fake news, and references to Taylor Swift.

King Arthur, played by Bob Harms, leads his knights of the ‘very’ round table on a quest to find the Holy Grail. This takes them into all manner of madcap encounters - the taunting raspberry blowing French guards (‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of Elderberries’), a visit to a very blinged up Camelot, the ‘Knights who say Ni’ and their demands of a shrubbery, the Black Knight, and not forgetting the cute but killer white bunny.

All of this, and newly developed love interests unfold as the musical madness takes off and leaves the crowd belly laughing.

Sarah Harlington’s Lady of the Lake performance draws the crowd in - her powerful voice, her lavish dresses and ornate crown and her comic timing never fail as ‘The Song That Goes Like This’ and ‘Whatever Happened to My Part’ are both absurdly entertaining.

Prince Herbert - played by Joel Benedict - plays the ‘damsel in distress’ locked away by his father and promised his kingdom, but gallantly rescued by butch Knight Sir Lancelot and set free to sing.

With a soundtrack that adds plenty to the feel good factor, and a little audience participation when it comes to finding the Holy Grail, the crowd loved it, most of them leaving singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

|Review taken from the Manchester Evening News

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