Monty Python's Spamalot, Norwich Playhouse, Norwich. May 2017.
Although slightly too young to remember Monty Python from the original broadcasts I have been a fan for many years now and most Easter weekends I like to watch Life of Brian in a double bill with Jesus Christ Superstar. I do also like The Holy Grail as a film but it has to be said I think that Spamalot is better.
I was lucky enough to see Spamalot in London soon after it opened and then again on tour in Norwich a few years later but when a friend and I saw it was on in Norwich again I was certainly keen to see it once more.
This production was put on by the Threshold Theatre Company, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society. They have a great idea behind them:
The Threshold Theatre Company was set up by NNOS to provide a training ground for less experienced actors and singers, preparing them for stepping up into the main company when they felt confident enough to do so. One of Threshold’s objectives is “to train young or inexperienced people to gain a good knowledge of all aspects of operatic and dramatic arts“.With this in mind I wasn't sure what to expect on the night - would it be a low budget am dram show? The answer was an emphatic no - this was as professional and as polished as any touring London show and being in a small theatre was wonderfully intimate as you got to see every eyebrow quirk and facial twitch!
The singing, dancing and acting were all superb with a relatively small cast doubling and tripling to great effect, I had a grin on my face before the end of the first line and by the end a huge stitch from laughing so much.
The Threshold Co. are now high on my watch list and I can't wait to see more of what they put on. Norwich is so lucky to have great local talent as well as a theatre which books great London theatre tours - I'm now off to look at the schedules for the Playhouse and Maddermarket...