Monty Python's - SPAMALOT
Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle: Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle.
Shubert Theatre, New York - 17 March, 2005
Palace Theatre, London - 16 October, 2006
England 932 A.D. A Kingdom divided. To the West the Anglo-Saxons, to the East the French. Above nothing but Celts and some people from Scotland. In Gwynned, Powys, and Dyfed - Plague. In the kingdoms of Wessex, Sussex, Essex and Kent - Plague. In Mercia and the two Anglias - Plague. With a 50% chance of pestilence and famine coming out of the Northeast at twelve miles per hour. Legend tells us of an extraordinary leader, who arose from the chaos, to unite a troubled kingdom. A man with a vision who gathered Knights together in a Holy Quest. This man was Arthur, King of the Britons. For this was England!
The play begins with a historian giving a brief overview of medieval England. An idyllic Scandinavian village appears, with gaily dressed Finnish villagers singing and dancing to the "Fisch Schlapping Song." The Historian returns, irritated, and tells them he said "England", not Finland. The villagers disperse and the pastoral forest is immediately replaced by a dreary, dark village with penitent monks in hooded robes chanting Latin prayers and hitting themselves in the face with wooden boards. King Arthur travels the land with his servant Patsy ("King Arthur's Song"), trying to recruit Knights of the Round Table to join him in Camelot and his quest for the Holy Grail. He encounters various strange people, including a pair of sentries who are more interested in debating whether two swallows could successfully carry a coconut than in guarding their castles. Sir Robin and Sir Lancelot meet as they attempt to dispose of the sickly Not Dead Fred ("He Is Not Dead Yet"). They agree to become Knights of the Round Table together.
Meanwhile, Arthur attempts to convince a peasant named Dennis Galahad that he (Arthur) is king of England because the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur, the sword given only to the man fit to rule England. However, Dennis and his mother, Mrs. Galahad, are political radicals and deny that any king who has not been elected by the people has any legitimate right to rule over them. To settle the issue, Arthur has the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls appear to turn Dennis into a knight ("Come With Me"). Cheered on by the girls ("Laker Girls Cheer"), the Lady of the Lake turns Dennis into Sir Galahad and together, they sing a generic Broadway love song ("The Song That Goes Like This"). Together, with Sir Bedevere and Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Show (a knight resembling Don Quixote who promptly apologizes and then leaves), they make up the Knights of the Round Table ("All for One").
The five knights gather in Camelot, a deliberately anachronistic place resembling Las Vegas's Camelot-inspired Excalibur resort, complete with showgirls and oversized dice ("Knights of the Round Table" / "The Song That Goes Like This (Reprise)"). In the midst of their revelry, they are contacted by God (voiced by John Cleese) who tells them to locate the Holy Grail. Urged on by the Lady of the Lake ("Find Your Grail"), the Knights set off. They are viciously taunted by lewd French soldiers at a castle they come to, and attempt to retaliate by sending them a large wooden rabbit in the style of the Trojan Horse; however, they realize after the fact that it was not as simple as leaving the rabbit and walking away - they were supposed to be inside of it. Defeated, they leave in a hurry when the French begin throwing various barnyard animals - including cows - at them ("Run Away").
Sir Robin and his minstrels follow King Arthur and Patsy into a "dark and very expensive forest" where they are separated. King Arthur meets the Knights who say Ni, who demand a shrubbery. King Arthur despairs of finding one, but Patsy cheers him up ("Always Look on the Bright Side of Life") and they find a shrubbery shortly after. The Knights accept it, but next demand that King Arthur put on a musical and bring it to Broadway.
The Black Knight appears but King Arthur more or less defeats him by cutting off both his arms and legs, impaling his still-alive torso on a door, and leaving to find Sir Robin. Sir Robin, after wandering the forest for some time ("Brave Sir Robin"), finds King Arthur and insists that it would be impossible for them to accomplish this next task ("You Won't Succeed on Broadway"). King Arthur and Patsy promptly set off in search of Jews. While the Lady of the Lake laments her lack of stage time ("The Diva's Lament"), Sir Lancelot receives a letter from what he assumes is a young damsel in distress. He is a little surprised to find that the damsel is actually an effeminate young man named Herbert ("Where Are You?" / "Here Are You") whose overbearing, music-hating father, the king, is forcing him into an arranged marriage. Lancelot advocates for Herbert after the king returns, and Lancelot is outed as a homosexual in the process ("His Name Is Lancelot").
King Arthur begins to give up hope of ever putting on the Broadway musical and laments that he is alone, even though Patsy has been with him the entire time ("I'm All Alone"). The Lady of the Lake appears and tells Arthur that he and the Knights have been in a Broadway musical all along. All that's left is for King Arthur to find the Grail and marry someone. After picking up on some not-too-subtle hints, Arthur decides to marry the Lady of the Lake after he finds the Grail ("Twice In Every Show").
Reunited with his Knights, Arthur meets Tim the Enchanter who warns them of the danger of an evil rabbit. When the rabbit bites a knight's head off, Arthur uses the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch against it, knocking down a nearby hill and revealing that the "evil rabbit" was actually a puppet controlled by a surprised puppeteer. A large stone block showing a combination of letters and numbers is also revealed. After pondering the final clue, Arthur admits that they're "a bit stumped with the clue thing" and asks God to "give them a hand". The grail is "found"; Arthur marries the Lady of the Lake (who reveals that her name is Guinevere); Lancelot marries Herbert; and Sir Robin decides to pursue a career in musical theatre ("Act 2 Finale/ Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Company Bow)").
- TUNING • ORCHESTRA
- Overture • ORCHESTRA
- Historians Introduction To Act I • Historian
- Finland / Fisch Schlapping Dance • MAYOR, VILLAGERS
- Monks Chant / He Is Not Dead Yet • FRED, LANCE, ROBIN & MEMBERS
OF THE ENSEMBLE
- Come With Me • KING ARTHUR, LADY OF THE LAKE
- Laker Girls Cheer • LAKER GIRLS, KING ARTHUR, ENSEMBLE MEN
- The Song That Goes like This • SIR GALAHAD & LADY OFTHE
- He Is Not Dead Yet (Playoff) • SIR LANCELOT AND ENSEMBLE
- All For One • KING ARTHUR, PATSY, SIR ROBIN, SIR LANCELOT,
SIR GALAHAD & SIR BEDEVERE
- THE Knights Of The Round Table /The Song That Goes Like This (Reprise) • LADY
OF THE LAKE,
KING ARTHUR, PATSY, SIR ROBIN, SIR LANCELOT, SIR GALAHAD, SIR BEDEVERE & ENSEMBLE
- Find Your Grail • LADY OF THE LAKE, KING ARTHUR, PATSY, SIR
ROBIN, SIR LANCELOT SIR GALAHAD, SIR BEDEVERE & ENSEMBLE
- Run Away! • FRENCH TAUNTERS, KING ARTHUR. PATSY, SIR ROBIN,
SIR LANCELOT, SIR GALAHAD, SIR BEDEVERE & COMPANY
- The Intermission
- Historian's Introduction To Act II • HISTORIAN
- Always Look On The Bright Side Of life • PATSY, KING ARTHUR
ANDTHE KNIGHTS OF NI
- Brave Sir Robin • SIR ROBIN & MINSTRELS
- You Won't Succeed On Broadway • SIR ROBIN AND ENSEMBLE
- Diva's Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part?) • LADY OF THE
- Where Are You? • PRINCE HERBERT
- His Name Is Lancelot • SIR LANCELOT, SIR ROBIN, SIR GALAHAD,
PRINCE HERBERT & ENSEMBLE
- I'm All Alone • KING ARTHUR, PATSY AND ENSEMBLE
- Twice In Every Show • LADY IN THE LAKE, KING ARTHUR
- Act II Finale • THE COMPANY
- (Company Bow) - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life • THE COMPANY
KING ARTHUR (Late 30s-60s.): The King of England who sets out on a quest to form the Knights of the Roundtable and find the Holy Grail. Great Humor. Good singer.
SIR ROBIN (30s-40s): A Knight of the Roundtable. Ironically called 'Sir Robin the Brave,' though he couldn't be more cowardly. Joins the Knights for the singing and dancing. Also plays GUARD 1 and BROTHER MAYNARD, a long-winded monk.
SIR LANCELOT (30s-40): A Knight of the Roundtable. He is fearless to a bloody fault but through a twist of fate, does discover his 'softer side.' This actor MUST be great with character voices and accents, as he also plays THE FRENCH TAUNTER, an arrogant, condescending, over-the-top Frenchman, the KNIGHT OF NI, an absurd, cartoonish leader of a peculiar group of Knights, and TIM THE ENCHANTER, a ghostly being with a Scottish accent.
PATSY (30s-40s): King Arthur's horse and servant. Underappreciated but always longing for King Arthur's approval. Good, funny, physical mover with some tap dancing. Also plays MAYOR, a jolly red-faced man who advertises the merits of his home town and the drunken, useless GUARD 2.
SIR GALAHAD (30s): A Knight of the Roundtable. Begins as Dennis, a lower class 'mud gatherer' who becomes Knighted and transforms into the dashing Sir Galahad. Also plays PRINCE HERBERT'S FATHER, a wealthy, brutish Yorkshireman man at odds with his sensitive son, THE BLACK KNIGHT who is always ready to duel despite multiple injuries. Strong bari-tenor singing required.
SIR BEDEVERE (20s-40s): A Knight of the Roundtable. An inept scholar. Also plays DENNIS GALAHAD'S MOTHER, a shrill peasant woman, and CONCORDE, Sir Lancelot's horse. No solo singing.
THE LADY OF THE LAKE (20s-30s):A Diva. Strong, beautiful, possesses mystical powers. The leading lady of the show. Great singing voice is essential, as she must be able to sing effortlessly in many styles and vocal registers. Especially seeking actresses of all races for this role.
THE FOLLOWING ROLES ARE PLAYED BY THE SAME ACTOR (20s-30s): Tenor singing required. Very good mover.
HISTORIAN: A tweedy academic.
NOT DEAD FRED: A sickly little fellow who, despite others' beliefs, claims he is "not yet dead."
FRENCH GUARD: The condemnatory French sidekick to the French Taunter.
MINSTREL: In Sir Robin's band.
PRINCE HERBERT: The hopeful and frilly prince who loves to sing and pines for his love atop a tower.
SIR NOT APPEARING may double as THE DANCING MONK
A MALE DANCER appears as THE DANCING NUN
THE VOICE OF GOD may be pre-recorded.
TWO FRENCH GUARDS are two of the MALE ENSEMBLE
ROBIN'S MINSTRELS are also ENSEMBLE: 2 MEN, 1 WOMAN.
SIR BORS is MALE ENSEMBLE.
ENSEMBLE: Six men and six women