I nearly bought tickets for Spamalot when I was in New York in late 2006, but I never did, and I’d regretted it ever since. Today I had the opportunity to see the local production in Melbourne.
First, like all shows these days tickets weren’t cheap at $117.50 for A Reserve tickets, which actually ended up being Row Q at Her Majesty’s in Melbourne. I’d never been to Her Majesty’s before and it’s probably half the size of the Princess Theatre where most big shows end up in Melbourne. We were under the overhang, but only to the point where we could just see everything…one row back and we would have been screwed.
The show itself was everything I expected. The absurdness of the original Monty Python genius is captured in a stage play that combines some classic Monty Phython movies, skits and songs with new material. The Australian cast are relatively unknowns (well B list in terms of leads anyway), but together they were first rate. The imagery combined with some clever visual gags had the audience in stitches. There were a few parts that may have pushed the boundaries a little bit; a whole number related to needing Jews in a Broadway play, complete with ethnic dancing and a huge Star of David may have been a witty take on a truth, or borderline anti-Semitic. The humor relating to gay coupling also pushed the edge, and although done in light spirit, could possibly offend the gay community at times, but certainly a lot less than any hard core God loving homophobes who hate any representation of gay coupling. All up it is perhaps PG rated, we took our 5 year old and he had a great time, but the language may make it unsuitable for some parents who don’t want their kids exposed to that…god botherers mostly.
All up it was a splendid two and a half hours of laughter, music, visual serendipity and Monty Python stupidity. If you like Monty Python, or love a good comedy musical, you’ll enjoy Spamalot.