Review: Spamalot at the Ipswich Regent, March 7

THIS is two hours of sheer bliss!

You don’t have to already be a fan of Monty Python to love this show – but it surely helps as you can reference the jokes and nods to classic sketches that pepper this wonderful show.

Phill Jupitus is wonderful as the comic King Arthur who comes to the stage via The Holy Grail movie of the early 1970s.

The whole musical is based loosely around this film and shot through with songs both new and familiar.

Some of the visual gags from the movie are difficult to recreate on the stage – but they certainly have a go with the Black Knight which might not be as gruesome but is certainly as funny!

One of the most endearing features of the show is the way that Jupitus and the rest of the cast seem determined to make each other corpse (choke with laughter) at some of the crucial points in the the show.

Todd Carty is his wonderfully put-upon servant Patsy, a Baldrick from the Dark Ages, while Hayley Tamaddon delights as the Lady of the Lake who spends much of the show trying to find a role – and singing lustily about that struggle!

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The music by Eric Idle and John Du Prez helps make the show a real hit – you come out singing several of the songs with such great titles as: “This is the song that goes like this!”

But the real showstopper, of course, is a song imported from another Monty Python film – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from the Life of Brian.

You didn’t have to be much of a Python fan to spot the references to the Parrot Sketch, and I wondered if we were going to get a rendition of the Lumberjack song at one stage.

And Lancelot’s reputation will never be the same again after this show!

The show is all put together very well with great dance routines and superb new Pythonesque jokes.

This has been one of the Regent’s most profitable shows ever and there was a very impressive first-night audience in the theatre last night.

There are still tickets available for all performances – including several relatively cheap seats.

If you’re looking for an antidote to gloom and doom, then you could do far worse than investing in one of these tickets.

I guarantee you’ll feel happier coming out than when you went into the theatre!