Friday, September 15, 2023



Book & lyrics by Eric Idle

Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle

Directed by Jarrad West

Free Rain Theatre production

The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan to September 24


Reviewed by Len Power 14 September 2023


While ‘Spamalot’ was based on the 1975 English film, ‘Monty Python and The Holy Grail’, the musical was first seen on Broadway in 2005, where it won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It has been staged internationally ever since.

For this production, the director, Jarrad West, has chosen a bare stage concept with the orchestra and conductor on stage as well as a few audience members seated on the sidelines at tables that look suspiciously like wedges of a Round Table.

The show works with no sets because the absurdist Monty Python humour is all in the dialogue and songs.  They allow you to imagine King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail amid lofty castles, the Plague, an exasperated God and peasants covered in shit.

Luckily, Fiona Leach’s costumes provide all the atmosphere of the Middle Ages as well as the glitz and glamour that a Broadway musical needs. The enthusiastic cast work hard to bring out all the lunacy in the show and look like they are enjoying themselves hugely.

While the show is designed to look crazy and undisciplined, Michelle Heine’s choreography is anything but. She really knows Broadway-style choreography and gives us great dance routines that are apt and satirical all at the same time. The cast perform the busy dances very well, making several of them highlights of the show.

The orchestra under Ian McLean’s baton perform the appealing music very well. The singing of the cast was also strong but the sound was over-amplified at times, making it hard to pick up what was being sung or said.

King Arthur (Michael Jordan) and his Knights Of The Round Table

Amongst the cast, Michael Jordan does well as a humourless and idealistic King Arthur, while Darcy Kinsella as his trusty servant (and steed), Patsy, all but steals the show with his coconuts and hang-dog expressions.  Hannah Lance as the glamorous Lady Of The Lake scores with the song, ‘Whatever Happened To My Part?’

The Lady Of the Lake (Hannah Lance)

The rest of the cast get their moments to shine, playing a multitude of crazy characters.

If you ‘get’ this type of absurdist humour, you’ll have a good time with this production. As well as being very silly, it’s also a very good Broadway show that even satirizes itself.


Photos by Janelle McMenamin

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at