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Genius Production of Spamalot

Some of the fabulous Masqueraders cast.

Monty Python's Spamalot, the Masqueraders Theatrical Society, Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton from 7 - 10 June 2023.

Review by Ann Evans

Monty Python’s Spamalot – lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a magnificently silly story of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail, which he does, cantering from country to country on his non-existent horse, coconut hoof-beats courtesy of his faithful manservant, Patsy, gathering up some faithful knights along the way, and facing all manner of craziness. Things like dealing with the Knights who say “Ni,” the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, and the Black Knight.

The script and song lyrics are by Eric Idle, the music is by John Du Prez and Eric Idle and the production is brought to us by the fantastic Masqueraders Theatrical Society. As this musical made its debut in Broadway in 2005, has played all over the world and has long been a popular choice for amateur dramatical groups, the chances are that you’ve probably already seen Spamalot. So, seeing those magical moments from the stage, TV or silver screen is all part of the fun. But let me tell you about this version, performed to a packed auditorium at Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton by the Masqueraders Theatrical Society.

Sir Galahad and the Lady of the Lake

Without a shadow of a doubt, this show is hilarious and brilliantly presented. There is something about the individual cast members who each seem perfect for their roles – every actor – young and not so young, has made their character their very own. Their timing, their facial expressions, their enthusiasm, their quirky movements, their dancing and singing, the deliverance of their lines – all just wonderful. The right amount of over-acting and subtlety that makes you love them.

All this, of course is down to the hard work and enthusiasm of the cast, and the brilliance of the Director Angela Adams, the Musical Director David Adams, the dance choreographer Gemma Eales, the 14-piece live orchestra, and the team of backstage workers who have created a great set and scenery.

The performance hooks you from the very start, and the ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ scene is hilarious, with special commendation to Not Dead Fred played exquisitely by Alex Mistry.

King Arthur and knights on a quest.

In fact, there was something close on genius in the Masqueraders’ performance. I can honestly say that every one of the 30-something strong cast excelled in their individual roles, coming together to create a stunning performance that certainly deserved the standing ovation at the end.

King Arthur played by Sam Asbury was delightfully hilarious in a sensitive kind of way as he galloped, cantered and trotted on his non- existent horse, with his faithful manservant Patsy (Rich Yates), loyally clapping the coconut shells together. Each of the knights brought their own personality. Each had their very own quirkiness – and great voices. ‘Come With Me’ sung by The Lady of the Lake (Fern O’Brien) was breath-taking, as was her duet with the dashing Sir Galahad (Andy Ward). Her performance throughout was fabulous, combining her beautiful singing voice with comedy to perfection.

Sir Lancelot, Prince Herbert and friends.

I loved the way the actors knew they were being silly and revelled in it unapologetically. Plus there were so many little moments, almost like afterthoughts, that added to the magic - and the laughs.

Great performances by Sir Lancelot (Chad Fletcher), Sir Robin (Alex Lewis) and Sir Bedevere (Mike Chappell), and something wonderfully charming about Prince Herbert (Jordan Bloomer). I could go on, I could name every single member of the cast and say what I loved about them, but instead, I suggest you go along and see for yourself. Monty Python’s Spamalot is on until Saturday 10 June at the Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton.


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