Spamalot- Review

The Mitre Players
reviewed by Jenni Balow

There have been many exceptional nights at the Minack this season – but none better than the clippety-clopping Knights of the Round Table from Spamalot’s Camelot who have whistled-up a truly stunning show.

Its illuminated multi-colour turreted castle, topped by the pennant of St Piran, rivals St Michael’s Mount for spectacle, as the Mitre Players, directed by Julian Chenery, throw some light on the mystery of history.

Every performance for this Monty Python and the Holy Grail-inspired musical by Eric Idle and John Du Prez has been more than sold out for months, and no wonder. The Croydon based group was awarded a special licence to bring the show to the Minack, and are the only amateurs presenting Spamalot in England at the moment.

Armed with this Holy Grail of opportunities, and a consignment of coconut shells, true-leader Neil O’Gorman playing Arthur, King of the Britons, and a cast of 30 gallop up to the plate to show us the Bright Side of Life.

He might think he’s all alone, but the ever-grinning Patsy (Paul Grace) is there for him all the way, along with the “strong and hot” Ziggi Szarfranski as Lancelot and Mike Lilley as doubting Dennis Galahad.
This brilliant cast has several actors playing multiple parts including Simon Long as the very-amusing falsetto-voiced Prince Herbert, Peter Calver as Sir Robin, and Dave Price, who suffers the ‘odd scratch’, losing all his limbs as the Black Knight, and later hurls the holy hand grenade of Antioc to dispatch a blood thirsty killer rabbit. Thom McGowan has an outrageously Gallic accent as one of the French Taunters.

The Lady of the Lake, Joanna Morrison, referred to as “that watery tart”, and “an aquatic bint” knows that whatever happened to her part, she’s a real star of this show with a big voice.

The set is also a winner, designed by Jill Wilson and put together by Alan Collins, Paul Adams, Paul Bowles, Derek Lee and Sue Long, with lighting by Alan Bishop, sound by James McLeod and special effects by Andy Thompson.

The band is superb once again under the direction of Mitre co-founder Colin Warnock, with lots of movement choreographed by Helen Harman, and costumes by Carolyn Chenery and Anna Warnock.
We knew it would be absurd, rude and very silly – and that’s just what it was, sending us whistling all the way home.