Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite thing is laughing, my next favourite thing is the theatre, so to combine the two is just heaven for me. This is why I was excited to go and see the amateur production of Spamalot at The Duchess Theatre at the Chatsworth Arts Centre in Long Eaton, having been kindly invited along by the president of the Beeston Musical Theatre Group who were the magnificent stars of the show.
I confess I had not really seen much of the Monty Python shows, I was very aware though as many in my family are fans and quotes regularly get bandied about between them all, I just never really made the effort to get into it. I was still looking forward to it, I knew to expect daftness and that is what I got!
For those that may not know, Spamalot is (very) loosely based on the story of King Arthur (played by Kevin Chatten) and his knights of the round table. Arthur recruits his knights, Sir Robin (Chris Collington), Sir ‘It’s Dennis” Galahad (Tim Yearsley), Sir Bedevere (Martin Holtom) and the surprisingly camp Sir Lancelot (Simon Owen). Once recruited, King Arthur – along with faithful sidekick Patsy (Rob Charles) – and his knights are set a task by the Lady of the Lake (Beth Yearsley) to find the Holy Grail. With many obstacles including the French, the Knights of Ni and a Prince called Herbert (David Hurt), will they find the Holy Grail which will answer all their prayers?
From curtain up, this production had me smiling from ear to ear, silliness aplenty and some fantastically frivolous musical numbers, I could not have found a negative even if I wanted to. For an amateur theatre group, Beeston Musical Theatre Group would have looked completely at home on the stage of the grand Theatre Royal in Nottingham and still would have shone. Each cast member gave their all, each was as good as the next and even the behind the scenes people nipping on for cameo’s had you transfixed.With Beth Yearsley’s amazing voice and the complete casts comedy timing – even when things went a little awry (coconut shells on the orchestra, baguette’s hitting the lights) – the lightning reactions to this from the cast just made it all the more hilarious, who doesn’t love a bit of improv?
Whilst the show would have been completely at home in a more well known theatre, why should it? This venue was so lovely, easy to find, very welcoming staff and it just had a nice feel to it, more people should go to visit it and enjoy the amateur productions there.
On until Saturday 28th October at The Duchess Theatre, Spamalot is a merry musical well worth the few extra miles to the border for a fun filled night with a quality cast. Make sure you get a programme too!