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Review: Spamalot at the Palace Theatre Manchester

  • Spamalot at the Palace Theatre
  • Northern Quota reporter Jess Stoddard reviews the Tony Award-winning musical

Based on Monty Python’s 1975 Holy Grail film, the humour is like Spam itself, a matter of taste. Love it or loathe it you cannot fail to be hugely entertained.

Bob Harms gives a right-royal performance as King Arthur, commanded by God to find the fabled goblet. He plays the sulky king perfectly.

With the loveable trusted servant Patsy (Rhys Owen) clip-clopping coconuts behind the king, the two recruit knights to support Arthur's quest. My favourite moment when Owen pulls at the audience's heart strings is the song I'm All Alone, where Arthur clearly does not notice all Patsy does for him. Owen's perfect facial expressions and comic timing made the audience laugh all through the ballad in classic Monty Python style.

Stephen Arden (Sir Robin), Norton James (Sir Galahad) and Johnathan Tweedie (Sir Lancelot) are all highly-impressive in their respective roles, but Marc Akinfolarin stands out from the crowd for me. His Name Is Lancelot saw Copacabana-style ruffles and silver sparkly shorts, with all the boys stripping off, dancing and sipping cocktails. A spectacle and a vision that will play in my mind for a long time.

The whole cast are fabulous, with the ensemble-changing characters and costumes quicker than you can say Spam. From the start they make the audience cry with laughter with their misheard Fisch Schlapping Dance to the cheerleader Laker Girls.

Sarah Harlington tops them all as diva lady of the lake, displaying her admirable vocal range in The Song that Goes Like This. Her comic timing and stubborn attitude shown perfectly in her lament of Whatever Happened to My Part where she complains that she has not been on stage in over 20 minutes.

All the favourite sketches like the Black Knight drew tremendous applause and director Daniel Buckroyd's team hit the spot in every area, particularly Ashley Nottingham's choreography. A gourmet meal for everyone!

Channel 4's The Last Leg presenter Alex Brooker, said:

It was hilarious. I loved it. I've never seen anything like it before!

The impressive costumes and simple but effective set was perfectly used and created comedy in itself. A mixture of tunics, Showgirl glitz and Finnish dresses came together wonderfully by designer Sara Perks.

Spamalot is running at the Palace Theatre until the 11th November.  

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Jess at the Palace
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