Darlington Operatic Society – Monty Python’s Spamalot Review

Following on from their successful run with “Legally Blonde” earlier this year, the Darlington Operatic Society returned to the stage on Monday, October 24th, 2016 with “Monty Python’s Spamalot”.

Based on the Tony award-winning production, Spamalot is adapted from the classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” film and follows King Arthur (Julian Cound) who recruits the Knights of the Round Table to join him in Camelot, where they are tasked by God (voiced by Monty Python legend Eric Idle) to locate the Holy Grail.

Performed in the magnificent Princess Alexandra Auditorium in Yarm (due to the Darlington Civic Theatre undergoing a refurbishment), the Darlington Operatic Society once again demonstrated why they are the region’s finest amateur production company, as they had onlookers laughing from start to finish.

In the main role as King Arthur, Julian Cound delivers an excellent performance, making his stage presence felt with his strong, authoritative figure. King Arthur is joined by faithful sidekick, Patsy (played by Eddie Jones), whose ditzy facial expressions and comedic timing were second to none.

Each of the Knights of the Round Table has their own brief storyline, which further add to the show’s comedic value. One of the standout scenes was Sir Lancelot’s (Leighton Taylor), who receives a letter from what he assumes is a young damsel in distress, who later emerges to be an effeminate young man called Herbert (Cameron Wallace).

However, it’s the production company’s newcomer, Ruby Hoggarth as the Lady of the Lake, who shines the brightest. Her impressive vocal range makes her an exciting young prospect, and certainly one to keep your eye on.

It wouldn’t be a Darlington Operatic Society production without musical numbers, and Spamalot was no different. The 15-piece orchestra (under the guidance of musical director John Hudson) provided an exceptional soundtrack, which was accompanied by a brilliant ensemble, whose choreography and backing vocals were flawless.

In terms of the set design, the castle backdrop and the props were very well constructed and utilised throughout, as were the Monty Python-inspired video effects projected onto the stage. Likewise, the costumes were to a very high standard, capturing the essence of the medieval era.

Overall, Darlington Operatic Society’s take on “Monty Python’s Spamalot” is their best show to date. The high production values, the sheer amount of laugh out loud moments and the fantastic chemistry between the cast makes for delightful viewing. Spamalot is guaranteed to make you laugh a lot.

Darlington Operatic Society’s “Monty Python’s Spamalot” is at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium in Yarm until Saturday, October 29th, 2016. Tickets can be purchased from the Darlington Operatic Society website or by calling 01325 244659.