November 11, 2011


Hutt City Musical Theatre held the Wellington premier of Spamalot last night. The award winning show, released in 2005, is a mix of Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail and several of their skits along with some new material. You may have seen Eric Idle discussing it with Graham Norton on his show recently. The Lower Hutt group hired all of their costumes from a Christchurch troupe who were unable to perform due to earthquake damage.

The venue, a neighbour of the Hutt Repertory Society, was arranged in cabaret style seating with a limited bar and BYO. The small space was decorated well with hanging flags and wall coverings, if it hadn't remained cold throughout you might have forgotten you were in an old hall. A live band was squeezed in next to the stage, interactions with the actors ensured they were never merely part of the furniture.

The show included all the necessary elements; a King, a Diva who was "off stage for too long", a rescue, singing, dancing and, a wedding. The singing was, for the most part, excellent and far better than I had expected. In some places singers battled to be heard above the music as did the accented narrator. Arguments about kingship and democracy ("I'm King of the Britons." "I didn't vote for you.") seem particularly fitting so close to our own election, it is a shame that local references were not added here. Surprising modernisations included the Lady of the Lake and her Laker girls, the Knights Who Say Ni singing Mmbop and the revelation that you need a Jew to stage a good Broadway musical (there was an entire song about it). One surprising omission was any reference to the current popular usage of the word spam. The surprising addition was Always Look on the Bright Side of Life but I should have expected it as it is the song Monty Python are most well known for - even if it doesn't really fit in this show.
Of course it was good, it was Monty Python, you stupid twit! And all the better for being an amateur performance. It looks like this will sell out like the groups rendition of Grease. They only do one show a year so don't miss out.

Price: $27.50 you can buy tickets here
Performances: 10-12, 17-18, 24-26 November
Venue: Epuni Community Hall, cnr Oxford Terrace & Mitchell Street, Lower Hutt
Performers: Hutt City Musical Theatre (find them on Facebook and the web)

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