Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Jamie Tyler, Sarah Earnshaw, Joe Tracini, Will Hawsworth, Richard Kent, Richard Meek, Josh Wilmott, Michael Palin, Daniel Crane, Abigail Climer, Matthew Dale, Holly Eaterbrook, Richard Astbury, Ste Clough, Inez Mackenzie.
It’s no wonder that the chroniclers of Middle and Old English History have very little to go on, save the odd Anglo Saxon lord and a few scattered bones of cows that have been forcibly flown through the air and the legends of dire and almost indestructible rabbits who would tear a man’s head off given half a chance. Nothing of note seems to have happened until King Arthur and his loyal, if utterly bewildered, Knights of the Round Table went in search of the Holy Grail and under strict instructions by Michael Palin, as played by God.
That is if you believe Monty Python’ Spamalot and Eric Idle’s version of events and to be fair, why not, it’s as good as any other theory surrounding the fabled city of Camelot and the lady who can breathe under water whilst wielding a heavy sword.
For the third time in five years this outrageously entertaining musical has re-entered the popular conscious of the Liverpool theatre goer and remains an impressive spectacle, even if the main attraction of the show this time round was not in it on the opening night, however in Jamie Tyler, standing in for Joe Pasquale, the position of King Arthur was in more than capable hands and the true spirit of the performance never faltered or suffered because of it.
With the usual great gags, flying cows, fish slapping, musical numbers that just sprang from the stage as if being chased by horse with coconuts for hooves and a terrific performance by both Joe Tracini as Patsy and Richard Meek as the converted anarchist to knight of the realm, Dennis Galahad, the 2015 production of Spamalot was just as entertaining, just as surreal and important as the previous excursions that the play has undertaken in Liverpool.
As Michael Palin’s version of God said, but without the bits that would make it X-Rated, “Don’t avert your eyes”, Camelot may be a very silly place but it’s worth the trip.
Ian D. Hall