Generally speaking, if you go to see a musical and the whole cast corpse midway through Act 1, it can be seen as a bad sing… thankfully, when the cast of Spamalot at the Mayflower did just that last night, we were all in on the joke (I won’t spoil it in case he uses it again, but suffice it to say, it involves Joe Pasquale mentioning Janet Street Porter and McDonald’s Fillet of Fish in quick succession).
I’ll admit, I was a little dubious about seeing Spamalot again… when it last checked into Southampton it was tired and plodding and singularly disappointing. Thankfully the powers that be have given it a judicious trim, dropped the number of cast members a little bit and ended up with a show that zips along at great speed (it clocks in at just under two hours including interval).
The aforementioned Pasquale makes for a surprisingly charismatic Arthur and works the audience like a master, at one point teasing us for applauding anything that moves. He gels well with Todd Carty who now appears to be an ever-present in this show as Patsy but who has made the part his own with some very funny double takes and a particularly funny moment during “I’m All Alone”.
Sarah Earnshaw is a superb Lady of The Lake, a big brassy voice that
fills the theatre and sends up all the usual qualities of the leading lady with
The rest of the cast leap from
one character to another frenetically as we tick off all the classic Holy Grail
scenes and a few more besides. This isn’t going to educate or inform but if you
just want to enjoy yourself you won’t go far wrong by catching this tour!