Cambridge bore witness to an (extremely inaccurate) piece of history this May as<em> Monty Python’s Spamalot</em> graced the city. Performed at the Dunfield Theatre by Drayton Entertainment, the musical ran throughout May starting on May 6.</p>
For the tragically unfamiliar, Spamalot is a “loving rip-off” of the classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The musical adapts the major parts of the movie, which reimagines the adventures of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in a manner that is both hilarious and absurd. Featuring swallow-based mathematics, allegations of rodent parentage, and man-eating rabbits, its humour stands up despite coming out 40 years ago.
Needless to say, Spamalot is a musical that comes with great expectations, but the cast did not disappoint. At all times, the play was energetic, extremely witty (save for the occasional requisite fart joke), and filled to the brim with talent. While all the performers did an excellent job with the material, standouts included Jennifer Lyon as the Lady of the Lake, a medieval diva who won the audience over with her meta references as well as her phenomenal voice, and Eddie Glen, who played the not-very-brave Sir Galahad (in particular, his performance of “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” was a highlight of the show).
In terms of script, you can’t really go wrong when it comes to Spamalot. It preserves the classic humour of Holy Grail, which frankly needs to be seen at least once in your life, while standing up on its own merits through its engrossing music and by taking advantage of the medium of theatre. The musical was a treat for old fans and first-comers alike by infusing the classic elements of the film while incorporating more modern elements to keep the play relevant to today’s audience. Between sarcastically encouraging the audience to tweet throughout the play or searching for the grail under an audience member’s seat, it would be hard for anyone in the audience to lose interest.
Whether you were seeking an introduction into the Monty Python-brand of humour or were on your own quest to relive the Holy Grail glory days, the Drayton Entertainment’s performance of Spamalot was a fantastic choice.
Unfortunately, the musical’s run ended on May 24, so latecomers are out of luck. Until the next production, your best option is rewatching Monty Python and the Holy Grail and singing to yourself as you watch. Which really isn’t the worst way to spend your time, honestly.