The musical was originally due to launch a tour in April 2009, as announced when the London production posted closing notices at the West End’s Palace Theatre for 3 January 2009 (See News, 2 Jun 2008). But a few months later, David Ian Productions, cancelled the tour “due to unforeseen circumstances” (See News, 9 Sep 2008). The Python torch is now being picked up by Ambassador Theatre Group.
“Lovingly ripped off” from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in their quest to find the religious relic – and features a chorus line of dancing divas (with serfs), flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and a legless knight.
The musical has a book and lyrics by original Python Eric Idle, who also co-wrote the music with John Du Prez. The West End production, which ran at the Palace from 16 October 2006 (previews from 30 September) to 3 January 2009, reunited the Broadway creative team including director Mike Nichols and set and costume designer Tim Hatley.
In London, Spamalot attracted a succession of high-profile King Arthurs – with Tim Curry followed by Simon Russell Beale, Peter Davison, Alan Dale and Sanjeev Bhaskar – and the original Lady of the Lake was Hannah Waddingham, who was Whatsonstage.com and Olivier nominated for her performance.