At the height of their fame back in the late 60s, the daft schoolboy humour of Monty Python’s Flying Circus was fresh and irreverent, but although Spamalot didn’t surface until 2006, much of it relies on familiarity with the old jokes – and a huge dollop of good will.
“Lovingly ripped off” (according to the programme) from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and turned into a parody of the musical genre, it still has its moments as King Arthur sets off on his quest with the long suffering Patsy (Todd Carty) clip-clopping coconut shells by his side.
But the Knights that say Ni, for example, really aren’t very funny, and nor are silly French accents. And the killer bunny surely belongs in the nursery.
That said, the cast gives it all they’ve got as comedian Marcus Brigstocke as King Arthur (Jon Culshaw takes over till 2nd September) proves he can more than hold a tune whilst his glasses slip (unintentionally?) down his nose.
Bonnie Langford’s diminutive Lady of the Lake is a vocal knockout as she duets with Sir Galahad or laments the fact that her role has been mislaid for much of the second act.
And with the perky addition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (hijacked from Life of Brian) and a Boris lookalike biking through the action, this energetic show still has life in it.
Until 9th September, £15 – £55
Harold Pinter, Panton Street, SW1Y 4DN
Tube | Piccadilly Circus