About a year and a half ago, my wife and I attended a performance of Spamalot, the Eric Idle musical based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, at the National Theatre. It returns to Washington in December, but take my advice and don’t bother seeing it.
I fairly had high expectations for Spamalot, I figured it would make me laugh until I hurt or bore me to sleep — nothing in between. Neither of those things happened, it was decidedly in the middle. Instead of being atrocious or hysterical, it was merely amusing. The jokes and pacing were clearly written for an audience that was unaccustomed to Python, so the sheer absurdity is lost.
For the uninitiated, the story has King Arthur recruiting knights to join his roundtable and go find the holy grail. Along the way there are incidents and accidents that result in singing and silliness. There are plenty of nods to Broadway, seemingly a requirement for any stage comedy, and a rousing performance of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” which was actually from the movie Life of Brian. Otherwise, the show is just mildly entertaining.
Instead of dropping $40 or more a ticket, my recommendation is to go and rent Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the even better Life of Brian if you are looking for a Python fix.