Reviewed Friday March 12th 2010 (continues until March 27th)
Presented by Northern Light Theatre Company
Venue: Shedley Theatre, Playford Civic Centre, Elizabeth
Season: March 12, 13, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 8pm & March 20 at 2pm
Tickets: $20.80 – $28.30 available directly from the company or through BASS (booking fee applies)
Bookings: Phone 8262 7713, email [email protected] or contact BASS 131 246 or www.bass.net.au
Based loosely on the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, Eric Idle’s Tony award winning Broadway and West End musical makes its South Australian debut with enough stupidity to make Python fans proud.
The homage expands beyond Python’s skewed depiction of the middle-ages, making it accessible to more than just staunch fans of the British comedy legends. With nods at Andrew Lloyd Webber, Susan Boyle, and other modern references, the twists are fresh enough to silence even those devoted enough to parrot most of the recognisable dialogue.
The Fisch Slapping Song and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life blend seamlessly with a unique musical score that includes The Song That Goes Like This, and I’m Not Dead Yet.
Director Michael Pole has excelled himself with a Knight of comedy that is only matched by Peter John’s stellar musical direction and his sixteen piece band.
The unreserved cast let fly with show-stopping numbers, high pitched voices, and more energy than galloping coconuts, all topped of with Sue Pole’s wonderfully wacky choreography.
Nick Setchell is well-cast as frustrated King Arthur, who leads his ragtag Knights of the Round Table on a quest for the Holy Grail, finding danger and misadventure along the way. His voice strains a little in some of the songs, but he manages to carry each of his numbers regardless.
He is ably supported by Michael Papps as Patsy the patsy, who follows the King faithfully but is never fully appreciated.
The Knights of the Round Table include Jason Ferguson, Glenn Vallen and Jethro Pidd. Each play multiple roles, as do most of the cast, but they are particularly fun as Sir Galahad, Sir Bedevere, and Sir Robin respectively. Steve Rudd shines as Sir Lancelot, the Knight of Ni, and The French Taunter.
Megan Humphries is looking more gorgeous than ever as the Lady of the Lake. Her stage presence and voice are of such a high standard, one wonders why she doesn’t appear on the professional stage. Her grandeur and comic timing are exquisite.
Omkar Nagesh, sprouting an tremendous singing voice in a variety of supporting characters, hams it nicely up as Prince Herbert, Not Dead Fred and a Minstel, amongst other roles.
Anne Humphries’s costumes are always a delight and she has met the challenge of this production with aplomb. The effective set design by Michael Pole, Andy Pole and John Sheehan keeps the action flowing across multiple locations and scenes. The imaginative creation of a killer rabbit, the hands and feet of God (voiced by Eric Idle himself), decapitated Knights and a flying Enchanter all add to the mêlée of visual surprises and verbal hilarity.
Their cup runneth over with success.
Review by Rod Lewis, Glam Adelaide Arts Critic.