Review: Monty Python’s Spamalot at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

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I haven’t seen a single Monty Python film from start to finish, but I hoped the musical would be the gateway into its world.

Instead, I spent the evening wondering what was so funny.

The much-loved series has a loyal fanbase, and they were out in force. Many of the classic Holy Grail moments were there, and the Black Knight skit was particularly funny. But the playground comedy went over my head. It was odd to see grown adults reduced to tears over a farting Frenchman.

The cast found themselves funny too. Too funny. Improvised moments, such as The Knights who say Ni singing In the Navy and Joe Pasquale miming Janet Street Porter riding a beaver, led to onstage snickers.

And while this did get some of the biggest laughs of the night, to me it was self-indulgent.

The second half was a series of fragmented sketches, tied up with one lucky theatregoer presented with a tin of Spam.

If you are a fan of Monty Python you will have a fun night, but I’d pick Spam over Spamalot any day of the week. Until Saturday 11.