Tuesday 18 March 2014

Spamalot... my 15th time - maybe not my last after all

Spamalot is on at The Playhouse Theatre, London, but not for much longer. (Photo by Hy Money)

Yes, I went to see Spamalot again! This time, accompanied by my friends Sally Western (of Peter Cook 'Green Plaque' fame) and Hy Money (the UK's first female sports photographer and former photographer for Crystal Palace FC).

We had such a great time! I was so pleased to see Adam Ellis again as it was his day off last time I saw the show, much to my disappointment. His portrayal of Prince Herbert is so funny! After the show, we met the cast as they came out of the stage door and luckily, Hy Money took a photo of Adam and me!

Adam Ellis (who plays Prince Herbert and lots of other characters) and me, with the Millennium Wheel in the background (photo by Hy Money)

It was also wonderful for me to see, for the first time, James Bisp in the role of Sir Gallahad (and the Black Night and Prince Herbert's father etc). I was really impressed! What a strong performance! He really brought all the characters to life. Clearly, he has a glittering career ahead of him. I was so looking forward to meeting him at the stage door, but he somehow slipped out, probably when I was chatting to another member of the cast. I think they should come out one by one in an orderly fashion for us fans! It would make things so much easier if the theatre installed a ticketing system like they have at the deli counter in Sainsbury's. I digress.

I did manage to have a little chat with newbies Michael Burgen who plays Patsy, Daniel Boys (Sir Lancelot, Knight of Ni!, French Knight and Tim the Enchanter etc) and King Arthur himself, Joe Pasquale who photobombed a shot of Bonnie Langford and Hy Money I was taking!

It must be pretty scary stepping into a well-established show as the new boy! Respect to them!

Bonnie Langford (Lady of the Lake) and Hy Money being photobombed by Joe Pasquale (King Arthur)
 Bonnie Langford and Hy Money without Joe Pasquale
 Bonnie Langford and Hy Money with Joe Pasquale
I also managed to have a chat with Spamalot veterans Rob Delaney who plays Sir Robin (it was not much more than a "hello" to be honest, unfortunately), the lovely Hannah Malekzad (one of the knights who say Ni! and female ensemble) and the no-less-lovely Robin Armstrong (Sir Bedevere and Sir Galahad's mother etc). The cast are such a friendly bunch of people!

 Robin Armstrong, Michael Burgen and me (photo by Hy Money)
Spamalot closes on Saturday April 12th. How I would love to have a ticket for that performance...!


One reason that Hy Money was keen to meet up with Bonnie Langford was that she wanted to show her some photos she took of the cast of the 1982 performance of Pirates of Penzance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane which starred an 18-year old Bonnie! Hy was a press photographer at the time and had been invited to the show's photocall. And here they are:

Lots of famous faces in the cast of Pirates of Penzance, Theatre Royal, 1982, including Bonnie Langford. Can you name them all? (Photos by Hy Money)

Monday 10 March 2014

Saw Spamalot Again... my 14th time, but not my last

Me and Birgit just before curtain up

Many closing dates have been given for Spamalot London, and once I even bought a ticket to see the show, supposedly for the last time, only to discover that the run at The Playhouse had been extended yet again. But I fear they really mean it this time. A light finally goes out in the West End on 12th April :-(

Birgit Vaughan and I went to see the show for my 14th and penultimate time, last Saturday for the matinee performance. It was my first experience of Joe Pasquale as King Arthur, and what a delight it was! Of all the King Arthurs I have seen, he ad libed the most. It looks like he really loves trying to corpse the other actors on stage. e.g. "Shave my wildebeest"! Hilarious!

Since my last visit, I noticed some very funny little tweaks have been made to the script, like the shrubbery that's got heavy! I've seen the show change many many times since it was at The Palace Theatre, all those years ago.

No disrespect to their replacements who were great, but I was saddened to see that Jon Robyn (Galahad) and Kit Orton (Lancelot) have both left the show. And Adam Ellis (Herbert) was off that day, which only left Bonnie Langford (Lady of the Lake, whose singing gave me goosebumps), Robin Armstrong (Bedevere) and Rob Delaney (Robin) flying the flag for the old days!

Sadly, two of my bucket list items will now never be fulfilled. I never bought a D1 seat (it's a bit pricey), and I never did play Sir Not Appearing in this Show (I'm not famous enough i.e. not at all). Oh well, had fantastic fun nonetheless, seeing the show, on average, twice every year for seven years.

Supposing Spamalot really does shut on 12 April, my last time will be on 17th March; I'm going with a whole crowd. Looking forward to that even though it will be a bit sad too.