Hamming it up in ‘Spamalot’

A musical take on medieval times

By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor

You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you may even end up onstage, because anything can happen at Monty Python’s Spamalot, playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until June 29.

The quirky musical is based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they head off on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Along the way, they encounter fan-favourite characters such as the knight who claims his dismembered arm is “only a flesh wound” (an effect created onstage with a fake arm and bursting red streamers), the Knights Who Say “Ni!” and a deadly bunny rabbit.

Expect the characters to frequently break the fourth wall and talk to the audience, often referencing modern day events and comparing them to the musical’s medieval setting. Audience participation is welcomed, so feel free to loudly cheer when your favourite character comes on stage or sing along with your favourite songs.

Though the cast is predominantly male, Terra C. MacLeod carries her own onstage as the Lady of the Lake, the only lead female character. While she lacks stage-time compared to her co-stars—a fact she points out in her solo, “The Diva’s Lament,” when she asks, “Whatever happened to my part?”—she commands the stage with a powerful presence that almost outshines David Marr’s King Arthur.

Marr’s performance stands out in the more dramatic scenes when Arthur begins to doubt himself and feels abandoned, like in the musical number, “I’m All Alone,” when his faithful servant Patsy (played by Andrew Cownden) tries to remind Arthur that he’s still there. Jay Hindle also delivers a standout performance in his role as Lancelot, especially during his song and dance numbers.

The musical also features a live orchestra, which has a few comical moments of its own in the show when characters interact with the members. It’s a nice touch because it draws attention to the talented musicians who might otherwise go unnoticed during the show.

Monty Python’s Spamalot is a cheery, comical show that features toe-tapping tunes, memorable moments, and the age-old advice to “always look on the bright side of life.”