Five things you might not know about Spamalot
- Brian Donaldson
- 27 February 2012
Eric Idle and John Du Prez's Monty Python-inspired musical tours UK
1 The multi award-winning musical production from Eric Idle and John Du Prez, Spamalot was ‘lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ I guess Idle can do whatever he wants but an eyebrow was raised by the inclusion of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, a song from a completely different Python film.
2 Conductor and composer Du Prez has worked with Idle for over three decades. He changed his name from Trevor Jones to avoid confusion with the composer of film scores such as Angel Heart and The Last of the Mohicans. Remember the 80s salsa-pop band Modern Romance? ‘Best Years of Our Lives’ and all that? Du Prez was their trumpet player.
3 A global hit, Spamalot first played Chicago and Broadway with a cast including Tim Curry, Hank Azaria and David Hyde Pierce, picking up a collection of Tonys on the way. It was less popular with the Malaysian authorities, who banned the production. Which was fine as there were no plans to perform it there.
4 Among the previous members of the revolving UK cast are Jodie Prenger, Matthew Kelly, Phill Jupitus, Amy Nuttall and Marcus Brigstocke. Playing the role of Arthur on the Scottish leg is West End leading man Steven Pacey while Bonnie Langford does her Lady of the Lake and Todd Carty takes on the job of Patsy. Depending on your era, Carty will always be either Tucker Jenkins or Mark Fowler.
5 In Trafalgar Square on St George’s Day of 2007, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam led over 5000 people (including some Spamalot cast members) in a record-breaking performance of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ in which many coconuts were clip-clopped to destruction.
King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 12–Sat 17 Mar; Edinburgh Playhouse, Mon 19–Sat 24 Mar.