Monty Python’s Spamalot at Pump House, in Local Board Road, Watford, will not only leave you looking on the bright side of life, but also crying with laughter.
Three years ago, the rights for amateurs to perform the Broadway musical comedy, which won three Tony Awards, were released and the youth theatre at the Pump House was one of the first arts centres to get it.
Based on the 1975 British slapstick film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the show was a parody of the medieval story of King Arthur and features some memorable characters such The Knights Of Ni, Lady Of The Lake, Sir Lancelot and of course, the suave King Arthur, who was played by Tom Stevenson.
Before the show began, the audience had the option of tweeting who they wanted to make a cameo as the voice of God. Faced with the random selection of Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill, musician Tom Billington, an 82-year-old entertainer named Barry from Watford or Eric Idle, I chose the mayor as I was intrigued to see her demonstrate her acting skills.
Alas, Monty Python actor Eric Idle ended up winning the vote and made an appearance via a television screen.
The cast performed with a great deal of enthusiasm without taking themselves too seriously, which added a lot of comedy to the production.
Lady Of The Lake (Saffron Richardson) gave a standout performance. She was obviously given a generous costume and set allowance, as she belted out an array of songs dressed in various different gowns and rode round the stage stood on top of a roving miniature podium.
Sir Galahad (Lewis Jackson) also provided many laughs throughout, after he was initially mistaken as an old woman by the other characters and then desperately tried to prove he was fit to be deemed a Sir.
With all amateur productions, technical things don’t always run perfectly. There were a few sound issues and a surprising moment during a fight scene where a character’s head prematurely fell to the floor with a loud thud, but these just added humour to the show and the audience was not disappointed.
Spamalot, Local Board Road, Watford, WD17 2JP, until Saturday January 28, 7.30pm, details: 01923 241362, pumphouse.info