Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society | BATS | Amateur Musical Theatre Productions | Basingstoke, United Kingdom

View Original

Spamalot Review, Newbury Weekly News, May 2017

Laughsalot a BATS’ Spamalot

This was the first time that I had seen the musical Spamalot and I was unsure how the typical Monty Python madness would transfer to the stage in such a way. I have enjoyed their Holy Grail film many times and was looking forward to Eric Idle's offering with book and lyrics. 

I was not disappointed.  Director and choreographer Gary J. Myers did a splendid job with a talented cast, capturing the Pythons' unique blend of humour and mixing it well in the well-choreographed musical numbers. 

Colin Flaherty as King Arthur and Pete Chandler as the (almost armless!) Black Knight

This slick and well-rehearsed musical was complemented by the hard-working MD. Neil Streeter, and his band, who at times probably felt like they were playing until their arms dropped off - although, in fact, it is only the Black Knight who loses his arms in the show. 

There is everything you can imagine in this musical and I am sure that Eric Idle will be very proud to have thrown in every possible cliché, pun, and slick argumentative dialogue between ridiculous characters as humanly possible.  It would be easier to mention what wasn't in the show than to list what is. Nonetheless, we had the delightful and infuriating French taunter Ed Branch and a wonderfully funny I Am Not Dead Yet, led by Stuart Baker as Dead Fred. 

Stuart Baker as Dead Fred

Edward Branch as the French Taunter

Nick Brannam (centre) as Prince Herbert with Peter Chandler as Sir Lancelot

Kirsty Kingham as Lady of the Lake

The chemistry between a gay Prince Herbert, Nick Brannam, and his strict, brazenly, old-fashioned Yorkshire father; David Izzo, was fantastic.  This, too, was seen between a straight-played King Arthur; Colin Flaherty, and his poor worthless sidekick (or horse) Patsy - Richard Bond - working well in I'm All Alone.  But special mention goes to Kirsty Kingham, playing The Lady of the Lake, an absolute fantastic performance, showing off both comedy and a brilliant singing voice in The Diva's Lament

The show was gifted with energy and vibrancy and was great entertainment, whether a Python fan or not. For those of us who are, we had a great fix of Fish Slapping, Spam and always looking on the bright side of life. 

Well done.

Daniel Maskell