Hilarity and knights who say ‘ni’

AND now for something completely different, and more than a little silly.

Tuesday, 20th December 2011, 4:01 pm

Monty Python’s Spamalot started its three-week run at Brighton’s Theatre Royal on Thursday, and full-throttled laughter filled the auditorium from start to finish.

The musical of classic, all-time favourite of many, the Holy Grail, was, quite simply, hilarious.

With a script by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, and a cast including stand-up comedian and television panel show regular, Marcus Brigstocke, as King Arthur, and Jodie Prenger, of I’d Do Anything-fame, as the Lady of the Lake, there were high hopes as we took our seats.

At curtain up, the laughter started, and did not stop, as the jokes came thick and fast.

Everyone’s favourite bits, including the black knight who refuses to give up on the fight despite losing all four limbs, the French taunter, who sets the brave knights scattering after his threat to “taunt you a second time”, not to mention the killer rabbit, were in there.

The audience knew what was coming, and cracked up long before the joke was even unveiled on many occasions, which confused the minority of non-die hard fans scattered around.

Indeed, at one point, an over-excited audience member could wait no longer for the punch line, as the Knight That Say Ni demanded a sacrifice.

The shrill cry of “shrubbery” from the stalls was met with a nice touch of ad-libbing from Bridgestocke.

“Ah, the psychic powers of the Knights That Say Ni”, he quipped to side-kick, and operator of the coconut shells, Patsy, played by ex-EastEnder Todd Carthy.

There were some great python impersonations, and at times John Cleese et al could have been on the beautifully-dressed stage, but at the same time the cast made the characters, and the story, their own.

And as if all that wasn’t good enough, there was even beer, called Holy Gr-ail and specially-brewed by Black Sheep brewery, was on sale.