Reviewed by Matt Gibbins
Titchfield Festival Theatre
Whether you're a Monty Python fan or not, Titchfield Festival Theatre's offering of 'Spamalot' has something that every one can enjoy, if you can excuse the occasional rough-around-the-edges execution.
Lovingly ripped off from the hit film 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', Spamalot delivers all the favourite sketches that we know and love so well. The whole ensemble worked well together and provided a welcome level of pace and slickness to the production, though one or two members of the cast could do with looking more engaged. That aside there is really quite a bit to be praised.
Set design by Adam Bumfrey was impressive and used to its full extent, matched brilliantly with some inventive lighting design by Ian Pratt. Choreography by Chenny Thyme was simple but effective, though seemed to be the area where closer attention to detail could have been paid, and Direction by Rob King was strong, particularly his use of the space, and the admirable level of pace and transition.
Ron Long as King Arthur was charismatic and led us through the story with great clarity. Clogging away at his heels was Russell Churcher playing the endearing and lovable patsy, who's rendition of Always Look On The Bright Side of Life had the audience enthusiastically singing along. Emma Jeans handled the Lady of the Lake with a good level of conviction, though perhaps could have played up the diva characterisation more.
Ensemble highlights were plentiful and showcased some strong performances throughout, particularly Katie Watson as the wet and pathetic Herbert, and Francesca Nicholson as the obnoxious French Tower Guard, and the diverse Mark Allen as practically every other role you can think of.
Trailblazing through this production, it's only right to give the biggest praise to Ed Owen-Jones, who not only played three entirely different parts with superb contrast, but gave such conviction to his performances, and quite literally bared himself on stage.
Overall an enjoyable evening of raucous good fun, and silliness appropriate for all the family. If you don't mind an inoffensive naughty word or two.
Titchfield Festival Theatre are staging Spamalot nightly until Saturday 23rd September 2017. Tickets available by telephone on 01329 556 156 or online: http://titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com/project/spamalot/