Superbly silly Spamalot squad give us classic Python, but not parrot fashion

The scene with the French is a highlight
The scene with the French is a highlight

A DELIGHTFUL dose of silliness – that’s what you can expect from Monty Python’s Spamalot, currently showing at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre.

With a brilliant cast, bright colours and some great tunes, the hit show is a fantastic evening’s entertainment.

Todd Carty plays the slightly dumb Patsy

Todd Carty plays the slightly dumb Patsy

Phill Jupitus in his role as King Arthur comes out with some cracking one-liners, often using that deadpan expression we have come to know and love from his Never Mind The Buzzcocks appearances.

The musical is an homage to Monty Python, supposedly ‘lovingly ripped-off’ from the troupe’s Holy Grail movie, but includes songs from the familiar films and TV series.

All in all Spamalot has something for everybody. For those new to Python humour it is engaging and raucous, and for the hardened fan there is the wink to many classic moments and enough new stuff to keep them engaged.

The cast obviously enjoy performing the show – at one stage Phill barely fought back the giggles after a clearly ad-libbed one-liner caught him out, but the brief falter had the audience in stitches.

Todd Carty’s portrayal of Arthur’s ever-loyal yet quite stupid companion Patsy, is charming and his rendition of the most famous Python song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, is one of the highlights.

Jodie Prenger of I’ll Do Anything Fame is clearly cut out for the limelight and it doesn’t take a genius to notice she’s the only person who can really sing. But with diva-esque numbers like Whatever Happened To My Part? the irony is quite deliberate and half the fun. Her booming voice and sassy attitude means her supporting role tends to dominate whenever she’s on stage.

An underlying theme, in keeping with most of Monty Python’s back catalogue, is that beneath the downright silliness and the humour is a rather accurate and succinct kick at the establishment.

Spamalot is a musical which takes the mickey out of musicals.

At one stage the gallant knights are charged to put on a hit song and dance show, but not one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, and one hilarious number, so good it’s belted out twice, is called The Song That Goes Like This and includes the immortal line: “This is the song that goes on too long.”

The show is very tongue-in-cheek and the cast don’t take themselves too seriously, which makes you like them even more.

As every Python fan will expect, discussions of swallows aside, the French provide the most laughs.

The now famous tirade of bizarre insults in an outrageous French accent from the original film is pulled off with aplomb.

And that’s quite a difficult achievement when you appreciate a large proportion of the audience will know the lines as well as the cast.

The writer of the show and original Python Eric Idle makes an appearance in a video recording as a rather belligerent yet amusing God.

Whether you’re a Python fanatic, know the odd line or it’s all new to you, Spamalot is definitely worth taking in.

The show runs until Saturday. To book tickets call 0844 871 7615.