NODA Review – Spamalot

Monty Python fan or not, it would be hard to fault this production of Spamalot. This

show was fun from beginning to end. I don’t think there was a minute of the show when

someone wasn’t smiling, giggling or laughing out loud. For those who remembered and

loved Monty Python it was a great blast from the past and for those too young to

remember, it must have been a welcome introduction as King Arthur and his Knights set

off in search of the Holy Grail.

The set was extremely good and functional and wasn’t over complicated, which helped

with the pace of the production. Congratulations to whoever built the giant rabbit. All

that effort for such a brief appearance! The lighting and sound effects throughout were

spot on cue.

Sarah Smith’s costumes were both colourful and at times quite magnificent, particularly

the Lady of the Lake’s red dress/wedding dress. It wasn’t just the quantity that was

remarkable, it was the quality as well, with each scene and every dance routine

introducing a new set of kit.

The chorus and dancers and all those extra minor leads deserve unstinting praise.

Rhiannon McBean’s choreography was at times both fresh and inventive and everyone

performed with such energy and enthusiasm throughout. Big pat on the back too for

Musical Director Mark Aldous who had drilled the cast well.

It is difficult to know where the supporting cast ends and the leads start in a production

like this, but in a show that gives almost every performer a chance to take centre stage,

and in a production when every one of those performers seemed to be delivering their

very best, deciding the best of the best was always going to be difficult.

Steven Fenn made a splendid King Arthur matched by Freya Brunton as The Lady of the

Lake. Ms Brunton’s vocal range is amazing. Although the role of Patsy is usually played by

a man (using the definition of “a patsy” as a person easily taken advantage of) in a

confident performance Zara Minns made a good job of the coconut wielding servant.

Colin Scott made excellent work of the numerous characterisations he was called upon

to undertake, I particularly enjoyed Not Dead Fred, the Head Minstrel and especially

Prince Herbert.

Penultimate accolades go to The Knights of the Round Table: Sir Lancelot, Sir Robin,

Sir Galahad and Sir Bevedere. Jake Overy, Joseph Beach, George Nolan and Cameron

Maguire respectively, who attacked their roles with energetic enthusiasm and obvious

enjoyment which transferred itself to the audience. Well done guys for doing full

justice to your roles.

Director Elliott Papworth took up the challenge of this production and did a superb job.

The twenty-three cast, and the thirty-three members of the production team did you

proud and gave us a first-class evening’s entertainment. I have yet to see a better

amateur production of Spamalot!

Julie Petrucci

Regional Representative, NODA East District Four South