As previously reported (See News, 10 Jul 2007), Peter Davison and Bill Ward now play the new King Arthur and Sir Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot, having taken over from Simon Russell Beale and Tom Goodman-Hill respectively. After their first night, their co-star and original London Lady of the Lake Hannah Waddingham toasted their success, as did Ward’s former Coronation Street colleague Helen Worth.
Meanwhile, over at the Apollo Victoria, Wicked, which tells the “untold story” of the Witches of Oz, welcomed Dianne Pilkington as Glinda, Oliver Tompsett as Fiyero and Andy Mace as Doctor Dillamond. We already brought you production photos of the trio in action (See Show Pics, 5 Jul 2007), but now you can see them taking their curtain call and further applause along with fellow cast members at their first night after-party.
Other first night guests included the West End-bound former Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus (See News, 3 Jul 2007), Liberty X’s Michelle Heaton, Michael Quinn, Sinitta and Anthony Kavanagh (all from TV’s Grease Is the Word), Dancing on Ice’s Stefan Booth, and Little Shop of Horrors’ Jenny Fitzpatrick and Melitsa Nicola.
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“Lovingly ripped off” from 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. It has a book and lyrics by original Python Eric Idle, who has also co-written the music with John Du Prez. The musical opened on 16 October 2006 (previews from 30 September), and is currently booking until 23 November 2007.
Wicked, which won four of this year’s Theatregoers’ Choice Awards including Best New Musical, has a book by Winnie Holtzman, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The production is directed by Joe Mantello, with award-winning design by Eugene Lee. The show, which opened in the UK on 27 September 2006 (previews from 7 September), is booking until 29 March 2008.
- by Stuart Denison