I’ve long been a Monty Python fan, but am a little too young to have seen the movies on their first runs in the cinemas. So when it was announced that Spamalot would have a run in Melbourne, I decided to see it. I went along with the kids and Marita yesterday. Warning: some spoilers.
Some audience members were obviously long-term Python fans. One guy had a Ministry of Silly Walks t-shirt on. One man exchanged his yarmulke for a knotted handkerchief.
It was very funny in parts… the consensus seemed to be that the French Taunting scene was the best. But apart from lifting bits from the movie, it also took potshots at musicals, with the well-publicised “Song like this”, and a scene where the leading lady bemoaned the small number of scenes she was in. Mostly though I thought the funniest material was either directly lifted from the movie, or at least within the main plot of the movie.
I didn’t really “get” the song about Broadway shows needing Jews to be a success, and to be honest I felt a tad uneasy when the chorus first came round. But the aforementioned knotted handkerchief wearer and his family didn’t seem offended, and happily put their hands up when one of the characters on stage asked if there were any Jewish people in the audience.
I thought the cast was really good. Whoever did Dennis’s mother did Terry Jones’s Pepperpot voice perfectly. The special effects and animations were terrific, and I loved the bit where Arthur met Tim The Enchanter, obviously hanging on wires, and said he appeared to “hover in the air without string or any visible supporting device”.
All in all, a superb show. The programme is pretty funny too.
And last night I watched Bill Oddie’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are. Great stuff. The link between them? John Cleese recently claimed (MP3) that Tim the Enchanter was named after Tim Brooke-Taylor. And if I recall correctly, Graeme Garden appeared in one of the Holy Grail trailers.