Sunny With A Strong Chance Of Lumberjacks!

Mad Cow Productions

Monty Python’s  Spamalot

Theatre Severn

28th-30th April (Saturday Matinee 14.30)

 

It would be unbelievable to imagine that there is anyone within the Northern Hemisphere who hasn’t heard of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It would be equally surprising if one found a soul who claimed never to have laughed at their quintessentially British Humour.

 The audience tonight were certainly aware that something hilarious was to happen on the stage and one is able to report immediately , they sure got what they came for. This show is brilliant.

One is aware from the opening number that this is a lavish show, the scenery was sumptuous and so cleverly designed. The costumes were beautifully colourful  and stylish and the cast of about thirty were really at the top of the game. If there was a weak link it was un-spottable from the packed auditorium.

To say the cast pulled off this incredibly difficult show is under selling it; to say one would see no better in the West End  sounds a lot more near the mark. They were amazing. Every single cast member knew exactly what they were doing and did it so beautifully. To see a show working so well  is what Theatre is all about. This was a job exceptionally well delivered.

Every gag brought gales of laughter and every song earned rapturous applause as did every dance.  To learn that this has been a six month project is no surprise as it all unfolded like a smorgasbord of delight.

There is, of course many elements in a theatrical performance. The live orchestra, the lighting and sound are three crucial ones. Tonight they came together so faultlessly that it was a real treat to be there and to see this spectacle.

One gamble that they took was to include the song, “You won’t succeed in Broadway,”  It is a song that might have been placed there for the American audience. Not by MCP themselves but by Eric Idle. The point of the song was making was that you can’t perform on Broadway unless you have a Jew. This song was dangerous and it didn’t get the cheer that the other songs did. One feels from watching American TV they still find amusement in the whole Jew thing over in the U.S., the English have moved on.

That said every song was performed so well, the cast displayed great vocals skills and most importantly, the thing that is necessary for comedy to work is  great commitment. If a performer shows commitment in a song  so will the audience.

 There was not a single second when the cast allowed their commitment or their concentration to lapse. Comedy becomes funnier when you can believe the character that’s delivering it. There was no fuzzy areas here at all and the whole cast deserve applause for that.

There are so many strong performances in this show, too many to mention but James Ashfield’s King Arthur and Ryan Brown’s Patsy have earned a special mention as neither seemed to leave the stage at all. Yet throughout they were strong and entertaining.

This is a very funny show and the laughs just kept on coming. From The Black Knight to the Knights who say Ni and everything in between,classic Python constantly poured  onto the stage.

This show runs until Saturday and includes a Saturday matinee if you get chance go and see it. This is a performance that this reviewer is more than happy to recommend to you. Go and see it but if you do….don’t take your dead parrot!

This is a Five Star Review.

Owen J.Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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