Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture is a lot of fun. Stage West’s production is packed full of music and strong performances, but is a bit uneven because of some awkward direction and some technical difficulties.
Spamalot is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, just with music and scenes blended into each other. The story still tells of King Arthur (Kieran Martin Murphy) and his Knights of the Round Table and their quest to find the holy grail. They just sing while on their journey and their songs have the same humour that is captured in the production.
Stage West’s production features some strong performers, both as singers and as actors. Mark Allan as Sir Robin has great comedic timing and expression. Katie Beetham has a powerhouse voice, but unfortunately at this performance, has a microphone that cut out quite a bit. Murphy carries the musical both vocally and as the star of the show. His musical number ‘I’m all Alone’ was quite well done.
The narrative of Spamalot, along with the lyrics is quite ridiculous and entertaining and therefore the awkward direction choices by J Sean. Elliott could be seen on stage as just part of the comedy. It may be due to the size of the stage, but there were often times within the play that bodies had to be moved off or the production had to cut to another scene to accommodate a fight scene, that it disengaged the audience a bit. There are definite bumps in the flow of the production and the TVs off to the sides of the stage didn’t suit the production.
Overall though Spamalot is a lot of fun, especially if you are a fan of the film.
Stage West’s Monty Python’s Spamalot runs until June 21st. More information is available online.
Photo credit: John Watson