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Spamalot Crowns Brigstocke, Nicholas’ Pirate King

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Comedian Marcus Brigstocke will make his musical theatre debut playing King Arthur opposite Whatsonstage.com Award winner Jodie Prenger’s Lady of the Lake in Monty Python musical comedy Spamalot, which embarks on its first UK tour in May (See News, 4 Feb 2010).

The tour launches from New Wimbledon Theatre on 29 May 2010 before visiting Nottingham, Glasgow, Brighton, Bromley, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, Stoke, Liverpool, Aberdeen, Cardiff, Bristol, Woking, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Oxford, Torquay, York, Milton Keynes and Birmingham, where the current schedule finishes on 1 January 2011.

Brigstocke will appear as Arthur until mid-August, finishing at Liverpool, while, as previously announced, Prenger will appear in Wimbledon, Bromley, Brighton and Manchester. Further casting and tour dates are still to be announced.

Since winning the BBC new Comedian Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1996, Marcus Brigstocke has become one of the top names on the comedy and touring circuit. He was in the West End last month with his latest stand-up show, God Collar, at the Vaudeville Theatre. He also features regularly on BBC Radio 4 programmes, including The Now Show and Just a Minute, and has written and recorded three series and four specials of Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off. His TV credits include Argumental, The Late Edition, I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, QI, The 11 O’Clock Show and Have I Got News for You.

“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 the West End, Spamalot attracted a succession of high-profile King Arthurs – with Tim Curry followed by Simon Russell Beale, Peter Davison, Alan Dale and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

In other musical tour casting news, Paul Nicholas will return to the role of the Pirate King in Carl Rosa Opera’s production of The Pirates of Penzance, which launches a new UK tour from the Theatre Royal Brighton on 7 April 2010.

Nicholas famously played the part in Joseph Papp’s production of the operetta at the London Palladium in 1990. Last autumn, he took the role in Carl Rosa’s production for one week only at Chichester Festival Theatre, and now reprises his performance for seven dates. Following Brighton, the Gilbert & Sullivan classic continues to Bromley, Bath, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Truro and Sheffield, where the tour concludes on 12 June.

The Pirates of Penzance (or The Slave of Duty), was first produced at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York on 31 December 1879. The London debut followed in April 1880 at the Opera Comique. The story concerns Frederic, who as a boy was mistakenly apprenticed to a pirate instead of a pilot.

The Carl Rosa revival is not to be confused with the Union Theatre’s Whatsonstage.com Award-winning all-male version of The Pirates of Penzance which transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall in east London for a limited season from 8 April to 16 May.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE on 22 April 2010 – inc FREE programme & a FREE drink at our post-show reception with the cast! – for only £15!! – click here to book now! **


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