Spamalot

Date 20th October 2018
Society Dunstable Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Grove Theatre, Dunstable
Type of Production Musical
Director Alistair Brown
Musical Director Joanna Smale
Choreographer Jo Herd

Report

Author: Nova Horley

Spamalot is a silly show, and whilst I have seen several versions both professional and amateur, I would say that DMTC pulled out all the stops for me, and produced the best version I have seen to date.

The fact that it was written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, and was ripped off from the Monty Python films, should not be held against it for those that are not Monty Python fans, this show was worthy of a good audience for its sheer quality, and great performances from the cast.

The show centres round King Arthur’s search for knights for his round table.  The various strange scenarios along the way create many laugh-out-loud moments, interspersed with excellently sung musical numbers.

The set was fairly standard for this production, it has to be, with clever projections etc designed by Craig Fisher, but it all worked well, and was enhanced by an exciting lighting design from David Houghton.

Sound was excellent throughout, designed by Graham Elliott and Aidan Brown.

Costumes were very good, they were colourful and looked pristine, suitable for the characters and worn well.  We had such diversity - Knights, showgirls, beggars and everything in between, I particularly liked Guinevere’s closing costume, it worked well and looked good.

Director Alistair Brown definitely brought out so much more humour than I’ve seen before, and made it a spectacular production, supported by great performances.

Joanna Smale had a small but super band, who accompanied well, and she’d got the cast to a high level of performance in their numbers, I was very impressed.

Jo Herd choreographed the production, the moves were mostly suitable for the cast, I loved the tap dancing Knights, and the wildness of the jester/musicians, whilst the Lakers were charming. 

Paul Ramsey’s King Arthur was a tour de force, suitably regal, exceedingly well sung, I loved his attitude to his subjects, and particularly Patsy his hapless servant.  We couldn’t have wished for a better King, great portrayal.

Patsy was played by Alex Wheeler – this young man has a real talent for playing comedy, but also sings and dances well.  A great part for him, which he took full advantage of.

Joshua Thompson was Sir Dennis Galahad in the main, but also covered the Black Knight and Prince Herbert’s father.  Three good roles that Josh made the most of, creating super characters; very well done. 

Peter Carter-Brown as Sir Robin was a revelation, he not only sang and danced well, he got the innate silliness of his character, which I loved.  He appeared in many guises, all of which he portrayed extremely well, bringing his experience to bear.

Simon Rollings was great fun as Sir Lancelot, he gave the part his all, and also create other parts such as the French Taunter, Knight of Ni and Tim, all with their own distinct characterisations, very well done.  I loved his marriage to Prince Herbert in the finale!

Chris Young appeared first as Mrs Galahad, a very caring(!) Mother to Dennis, then as Sir Bedevere, and as Concorde, again differing characters all portrayed and sung with conviction.  Very well achieved.

Nico Bamford brought his particular brand of humour to the parts he played, I loved his beautifully camp Prince Herbert, the seriousness of the Historian, and the sheer comedy of Not Dead Fred.  This young man is honing his comedy skills well, showing good dancing and singing skills too.

Jenna Ryder-Oliver created a regal Lady of the Lake, who then degenerated into a funny character to match the men.  There was much to be appreciated in her portrayal and renditions of the music, giving her the chance to rock it occasionally.

The ensemble were all good, they entered into the spirit of the show, great energy and confidence, but Josh Smyth who sang one of the numbers later in Act 2, showed what a good voice he has, and also dancing ability; I hope we’ll see more of him in other productions.

What really impressed me with this production, apart from the excellence of all round performance, was the confidence and energy exuded on stage, it was infectious, and created a memorable show – thank you to everyone involved.