Camelot has come to Pendle in a wonderfully camp, zany and truly ‘Pythonesque’ production of “Spamalot”.
Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company’s latest production is, in the words of the producers themselves, a rip-off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. And how glorious it is too.
One of my favourite films of all time, I was concerned how the story would translate to the stage, but on attending the first night of the show at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre I can say that my fears were unfounded and the rather silly story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are still going strong after a thousand years.
The role of the main man, memorably played by Graham Chapman in the original, is taken by Pendle’s Darren Williams who holds the strong ensemble cast together with admirable support from ‘watery tart’ Jade Brett as the Lady of the Lake. Jade’s powerful voice is really something to behold and she really lets rip in some of the show’s musical numbers.
The king’s faithful sidekick, and coconut-tapping riding partner Patsy, is played with great understatement by Charis Deighton.
Matt Whatley, Sam Crabtree, Simon Jackson and Blue Blezard add sterling support as the Knights, not to be confused with those who say ‘ni’, who also make an appearance.
Speaking of knights, I was pleased to see my personal favourite – the wonderfully psychotic Black Knight – elicit that immortal line ‘none shall pass’. The comic scene of limbs flying everywhere is wonderfully created here with the use of clever props. Speaking of props, there’s also an appearance from a certain rabbit...
Indeed all the hilarious moments and characters from the original film find their way on to the stage, including the achingly camp Prince Herbert, played superbly by Josh Hindle.
Speaking of originals, Python Eric Idle even makes an appearance, via celestial digital technology as a rather foul-mouthed God.
So, if you are a fan of shrubberies, rude Frenchmen, Holy Hand Grenades of Antioch, Scottish enchanters and killer rabbits get yourself down to the Hippodrome for a riotous evening.
Spamalot runs until March 24th. Call 01282 863210 to book tickets.