Further casting has been confirmed for the UK premiere of the triple Tony Award-winning Monty Python musical Spamalot (See News, 21 Feb 2006) - Christopher Sieber, who created the stage role of Sir Dennis Galahad, will join fellow original star Tim Curry, as King Arthur, when the Broadway musical opens at the West End’s Palace Theatre on 16 October 2006 (previews from 2 October).

On Broadway, Sieber has also appeared in Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Triumph of Love and A Christmas Carol. His TV credits include It’s All Relative, Two of a Kind, Sex and the City, Ed, Guiding Light, All My Children and Another World.

Sieber and British-born Curry will be joined in the London cast by local talent including, announced to date, David Birrell (as Patsy), Tom Goodman-Hill (Sir Lancelot), Robert Hands (Sir Robin) and Hannah Waddingham (Lady of the Lake). In January 2007, multiple Olivier Award winner Simon Russell Beale, who took over from Curry as King Arthur on Broadway, will take over from him again, once he has finished his season of plays at the National (See News, 15 Feb 2006).

“Lovingly ripped off” from the screenplay of the Pythons’ 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail by original Python Eric Idle, 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.

Spamalot has a book and lyrics by Idle, who has also co-written the music with John Du Prez. The London production reunites the Broadway creative team including set and costume designer Tim Hatley, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone, choreographer Casey Nicholaw and director Mike Nichols. Spamalot, which opened at Broadway’s Shubert Theater in March 2005 – won last year’s Tony for Best Musical (See News, 6 Jun 2005), as well as Best Musical prizes at New York’s Drama Desk and Out Critics’ Circle Awards.

The Monty Python musical is produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, which has presented the Broadway transfers of National Theatre’s The Pillowman, Democracy, Jumpers and, just opened to rave reviews on Broadway this week, The History Boys.

- by Terri Paddock