Tuesday 27 August 2013

Michael Palin appears as God in Spamalot in aid of his charity Action for Stammering Children

How exciting it was to see Spamalot again (my 13th time), knowing that Michael Palin himself was going to walk on stage at the end of the show during the curtain call.

The last time I saw Spamalot was on opening night at The Playhouse Theatre, last November with Stephen Tomkinson as King Arthur, Anna-Jane Casey as the Lady of the Lake, Todd Carty as Patsy and Graham MacDuff as Sir Lancelot.

Last night, Les Dennis, the current King Arthur did a splendid job in the part and he even sends himself up at one point in the show! And Michael Burgen makes an excellent Patsy.

The others (Bonnie Langford as Lady of the Lake and Kit Orton as Sir Lancelot) I had seen perform previously when the show was at the Harold Pinter Theatre. They are both amazing and extremely funny!

A very clever PR person (who deserves a pay rise) - or was it Eric Idle? - came up with the idea of getting stars to play God in the show for a week each, in aid of their chosen charities. Michael Palin's charity is Action for Stammering Children aka The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children, for which his performance in the show will raise awareness and funds.

In his totally heartfelt speech (before the all-cast finale rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, with Michael in the centre of the chorus line and holding hands with Les Dennis and Bonnie Langford), he said that his father suffered from a terrible stammer and how different his life would have been if Action for Stammering Children had been around in his day. He said that he found it so moving how the charity helps the children overcome their stammer, that his support of the charity is what he is most proud of.

I went with a group of Python fans (we almost all met each other for the first time at the show!) and, needless to say, we all had a fantastic time!

More photos here: http://fuckyeahidlepalin.tumblr.com/tagged/august-26

With special thanks to Boom Ents

PS I want you to know that the Playhouse Theatre has very comfy seats and nice clean loos! It's a delightful place!

Saturday 24 August 2013

Who are YOU calling a cootie queen, YOU LINT LICKER?: Is this the most well-known Orbit Gum TV ad ever?

Here's the original 2007 ad, officially called "Orbit Euphemisms" that went viral, big time! This version alone has nearly had 5m views!

The ad was also re-enacted, it seems, by every kid with access to a video camera! That's crowdsourcing taken to the next level! Here are 2 good ones:


With millions of views, hundreds of re-enactments, and people tweeting, Facebooking and blogging, to this day, "Who are you calling a cootie queen, you lint licker!", "You son of a biscuit eating bulldog!", "What the french toast?" and "Pickle you - kumquat!" - this must be Orbit's most well-known and most successful ad ever!

As the ad was such a hit, I don't understand why Orbit Gum don't make a series out of it, or at least do one more in the same style with the same cast, especially the very talented and hilarious Jesse Meriwether. There are so many comments 'out there' about how much people love her and her performance!

The ad (and Ms Meriwether) also won critical acclaim, with PopEater, the entertainment news site, saying:
"We know two things: 1. This Orbit commercial is one of the funniest things we've ever seen, and 2. Jesse Meriwether, the actress who makes "lint licker" sound so incredibly filthy, deserves some kind of award for this better-than-advertisement performance."
I'll leave you with the brilliant script:

WifeYou son of a biscuit eating bulldog!

Husband: What the french toast?

Wife: Did you think I wouldn't find out about your little doo doo head cootie queen?!

Secretary: Who are YOU calling a cootie queen, you lint licker!

Wife: Pickle you - kumquat!!!!!

Husband: You're over-reacting

Wife: No, Bill; over reacting was when I put your convertible into a wood chipper, Stinky McStinkface

Secretary: You Hoboken!

Orbit Lady: Fabulous! New Orbit's Raspberry Mint cleans another dirty mouth. For a good clean feeling, no matter what.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Michael Palin to Appear as God in London's Spamalot!

Michael Palin to play God: from 26th August 2013

Herewith a Missive: Michael Palin edges Eric Idle out of Spamalot to play the role of God

Michael Palin to appear in person at the curtain call of Monday 26th August's performance

Spamalot extends its current booking period at The Playhouse Theatre to 8th February 2014

Monty Python legend, Michael Palin, has decided to ‘fart in the general direction’ of fellow Python legend, Eric Idle, when he appears as God on stage (on screen) in Monty Python’s Spamalot, for one week, from 26th August 2013 at The Playhouse Theatre to raise money for charity. At the same time, the show has now announced that it is extending its current run until 8th February 2014.

Palin steps into the heavenly robes previously worn by Hugh Bonneville (they actually got the chap from Downton Abbey), Barbara Windsor, Bradley Walsh, Simon Callow and Christopher Biggins, who have also  appeared as God in the show.  They in turn have sent Eric Idle off down the pub throughout the warmer months, as he usually plays the role on screen (and will pop up from time to time when the other Gods are off inventing America).

‘The Summer of Spamalot Charity Gods’ has been created to raise-a-lot of shillings for several charities including Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre, The Make A Wish Foundation, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Scene & Heard, Stage For Age and Keats Community Library which are supported by the actors who are playing God.

Absolutely Hilarious: Monty Python's Spamalot
Michael Palin took time out of his busy schedule (of travelling through a large and extensive forest- or is that a large and expensive forest? - for some TV show or other) to film the part of God, which will be shown during each performance of Spamalot from Monday 26th August until Saturday 31st August. His nominated charity is Action for Stammering Children.

The role of God features in Spamalot when King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table are given their quest to find The Holy Grail.

Sir Howard Panter (says he’s a real Knight! as if), producer of Spamalot for Ambassador Theatre Group, said; “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to bring friends of the show in to the role of God in this way, so that we can help such deserving causes while making audiences laugh at the same time.”

Comedian and actor Les Dennis is currently playing King Arthur, while musical theatre legend and TV star Bonnie Langford plays The Lady of The Lake. Other stars who have appeared as King Arthur include Joe Pasquale, Stephen Tompkinson, Jon Culshaw and Marcus Brigstocke. Warwick Davis joins the cast as Patsy from 23rd September through to 19th October 2013.

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a kind-of new musical with a book by Eric Idle and an entirely new score for the new production, (well, almost) created by Eric Idle and John Du Prez.

Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls, witch burnings (cancelled due to health and safety) not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people. The show features fantastic tunes more magical than a Camelot convention, including He Is Not Dead Yet, Knights of the Round Table, Find Your Grail and of course the Nation’s Favourite Comedy Song (Reader’s Digest Poll 2010 - before it went bust), Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

The new season at The Playhouse, which is directed by Christopher Luscombe, follows Eric Idle’s acclaimed performance of ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’ at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony – the world sang along, and Spamalot audiences get the opportunity to do so too! During the run, there have been 18 onstage moustache incidents, three suspected cases of swine flu (French pigs!), one outbreak of nits and 87 pairs of coconuts used.

What the press have said about the new West End production:
“Former Python Eric Idle has come up with a simpler, shorter and zingier version, which in Christopher Luscombe’s fresh-as-paint production, recalls Monty Python’s roots in undergraduate review. The lady sitting next to me spent most of the show physically helpless with laugher. BOOK YOURSELF A TICKET TO SPAMALOT - IN THESE DARK DAYS IT WILL HELP YOU LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE” – Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
“Just give way to your inner child and laugh a lot!” – The Times
"4 stars & Critics Choice" – Time Out London
“Gloriously British, Eric Idle’s musical returns for a triumphant run” 4 stars & Critics Choice – Evening Standard
“I honestly haven’t laughed so hard and so many times in years” 5 stars - Daily Star Sunday
“A lovely pudding of British silliness topped off with Eric Idle's hilarious songs!” - Magic 105.4
“Lovingly reformed from the classic film, the new Spamalot had the audience in stitches” – Mail on Sunday 
“Spamalot is really great. If you haven’t seen it, go, GO” - Chris Tarrant, BBC Radio 2
Produced by Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group

Listings Information

Spamalot recently started a new performance schedule, which includes two shows on Fridays at 6pm and 9pm.

New Performance Schedule:
Monday – Thursday at 8.00pm, Friday at 6pm and 9pm, Saturday at 2.30pm and 8.00pm (no Wednesday matinee). Running time: 2 hours – this one doesn’t drag on!

Spamalot has now extended its run until 8th February 2013

Northumberland Avenue

Tickets: £15 - £64.50.  ON SALE NOW
Box Office: 0844 871 7627 | www.spamalotwestend.co.uk


15th July 2013 – Hugh Bonneville
22nd July 2013 – Bradley Walsh
29th July 2013 – Eric Idle
5th August 2013 – Barbara Windsor
12th August 2013 – Simon Callow
19th August 2013 – Christopher Biggins
26th August 2013 – Michael Palin
2nd September 2013 – Larry Lamb

(More weeks to be announced soon)