Review: Spamalot at The Liverpool Empire Theatre

Posted on 15 May 2015
By Chris High
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With Joe Pasquale being indisposed, into the codpiece and breastplate of the bold King Arthur stepped understudy Jamie Tyler, but in all honesty such is the outrageously silly quality of Spamalot which is currently running at The Liverpool Empire, it really didn’t matter in the slightest.

All the usual suspect from the Python Pantheon are here for all to see, held together by a strand of a story that nobody really cares about. The audience are here to enjoy the laugh-out-loud madness of seeing a group of grown men in shorts, slap each other about the face with fish and watch Frenchmen tirelessly taunt their English counterparts.

Of course, to make the absurdity go with a swing, there needs to be a highly skilled cast and, in Jamie Tyler – who is an absolute dead ringer for Alistair McGowan – there is clearly an absurdist in the making. Never once does he falter, stammer or trip over what might be some pretty daunting lines … apart from when his colleagues make him corpse which just adds to the moment.

As Patsy, Arthur’s much put upon, Baldrick-esque servant, Joe Tracini is brilliantly cast, given that his rubberised mannerisms often resemble those of a shocked Penfold from Danger Mouse, but with much more fine tuning.

And special mention should also be made of the contribution of Richard Meek as Dennis Galahad, whose delivery and timing is exceptional and never more so than during his duet with the show’s stand out performer, Sarah Earnshaw, who’s Lady in the Lake is quite possibly the best that this theatre has seen. The Song That Goes Like This and The Diva’s Lament, as well as the pure energy she puts into everything she does – topped with a simply sensational singing voice – is more than worth the ticket price alone.

Like watching the TV shows, it doesn’t really matter how many times you watch Spamalot because its ridiculousness is as timeless as slapstick itself and will forever be preposterously hilarious.

Spamalot
The Liverpool Empire Theatre
May 11 – May 16
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Cast Includes: Jamie Tyler, Sarah Earnshaw, Joe Tracini, Richard Meek
Running Time: 1 hr 45
PR Rating: ***** It’s Python! What’s Not To Like?