Reviewed by Jan Mellor
I loved Monty Python and I am involved in my local amateur dramatics group, so when Spamalot was being performed by the Preston Musical Comedy Amateur Society I had to go to give my support and also to catch up on some classic Python humour.
The small theatre was only half full, but it was opening night and a Wednesday at that. The first act began with a man introducing us to ‘Ye Olde England’ and the time of knights and myths and holy quests. The set of the show was spectacular, and the drawn backdrop had the unique Terry Gilliam touch which was very fitting. Clever. The scenes moved effortlessly from Arthur and his faithful servant Patsy (a brilliant Philip Tomlinson) clip-clopping behind with his coconuts, moving to the plague village with the famous scene ‘bring out your dead’ played superbly by the ‘almost dead’ (but very talented Ed Goacher), to meeting the Lady of the Lake (the terrific Delphine Walton – what a voice!), to the court at Camelot and to the French Castle – reprising the line – “I told them we already got one”, etc. brilliantly (with wooden rabbit and cow artillery) – all within the first act. The ensemble were fantastic, the costumes amazing, the dancing terrific and we were all – both on and off stage – having a fabulous time.
The second act was equally as entertaining with the infamous Black Knight scene, Prince Hurbert (played superbly again by the multi-talented Ed Goacher) locked in Swamp Castle, the ‘Killer Rabbit’ scene and the ‘gushy’ ending of King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake (Gwynevere) getting married – accompanied by the splendid ‘Must have Jews’ song and dance. The well- acted performance was filled with an array of amusing songs ‘Finland’ (with the great face slapping with fish), ‘The song that goes like this (a great mockery of musical ballads), ‘All for one’, ‘Knights of the Round Table’ and ‘Run Away’ with a great rendition of ‘Always look on the bright side of life for audience participation’. The cast were very talented with three standing out as exceptional – Patsy, played by Philip Tomlinson, Sir Robin, played by Nat Ingham and Ed Goacher (playing a total of 5 parts from the dead leper to Prince Hurbert). Mark Howard (Director), Alex Phillips-Yates (Musical Director) and Zak Phillips-Yates (Choreographer) should all be very proud of this brilliant production. A masterpiece!
The show is wonderful, the cast are talented and passionate, the classic Python scenes are played wonderfully, the songs sang with great voices, the scenery and choreography – very professional and inspiring and the show from start to finish had me chuckling with delight. For an amateur group they give 100% and as opening night went (with a couple of timing mishaps) – I thought they were tremendous. If you enjoy Python – go and give these people your support – like me you will be highly delighted. A first-class performance – Well Done!
An outstanding performance!
Tickets cost from £17.50 (booking fees may apply).
Monty Python’s Spamalot is at The Guild Hall in Preston from 9-12 May 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.prestonguildhall.co.uk or call the box office on 01772 804444.
The Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT | 01772 804444