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Spamalot Closes in January, Bhaskar Takes Crown

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The West End production of Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Spamalot has posted closing notices. The Monty Python musical had its UK premiere at the Palace Theatre on 16 October 2006 (previews from 30 September). It will have its final West End performance on 3 January 2009, before embarking on a UK tour next April.

Prior to its closure, Sanjeev Bhaskar will follow in the footsteps of Tim Curry, Simon Russell Beale, Peter Davison and, currently, Alan Dale to play King Arthur, taking over from 23 June 2008. Bhaskar is best known as from TV’s The Kumars at No. 42 and Goodness Gracious Me. His other credits include Art on stage and Scoop, Anita and Me, The Guru and Notting Hill on screen.

“Lovingly ripped off” from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it 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 original Python Eric Idle, who has also co-written the music with John Du Prez. The London production reunites the Broadway creative team including director Mike Nichols and set and costume designer Tim Hatley. The three-time Tony Award-winning Spamalot opened in March 2005 at Broadway’s Shubert Theater, where it’s still running.

The current London cast also features Swedish reality TV winner Nina Soderquist (as the Lady of the Lake), Ross Dawes (Sir Robin), Gerard Carey (Herbert), Michael Xavier (Sir Dennis Galahad), Andrew Spillett (Patsy), Adam Stafford (Sir Bedevere) and Jake Nightingale (Sir Lancelot).

Spamalot is the second major West End musical to post closing notices in the past few days. At the weekend, Trevor Nunn’s adaptation of Gone With the Wind, which opened just five weeks ago, posted early closing notices at the New London Theatre (See News, 31 May 2008). No further productions have yet been announced for either the Palace or the New London.

- by Terri Paddock


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