Monty Python’s Holy Grail is a much loved and often (mis)quoted classic film: it will regularly feature in the top 10 comedies of all time as well the top 100 greatest films of all time. It seemed inevitable that this classic would get the musical treatment, and sure enough Spamalot was born receiving its premier in Chicago 13 years ago. The Spamalot juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down as it is currently on a nationwide tour throughout 2017 and well into 2018.
Next week the Knights of the Round Table and their trusted coconut clapping servants’ quest continues at the Palace Theatre Manchester, for a string of shows, which promises a fun and certainly very silly evening indeed. We caught up with the show’s star Bob Harms, who plays King Arthur to hear more about his involvement with the show.
Opening Night (ON) so Bob had you seen Holy Grail before you landed the role of King Arthur?
Bob: I had, as a kid I used to watch not just Holy Grail but a lot of Monty Python with my Dad. I didn’t get it at first as I was a bit too young. Then as I got older it just clicked and I loved it, the silliness and insanity of it all it just clicked.
ON: Well Holy Grail is one of my favourite films and like so many I’m a massive fan, what is like to be part of something that means so much to so many?
Bob: It’s a huge honour, the Python’s were such a prestigious group, and play some part in recreating something as iconic and as funny as Holy Grail through Spamlot means a great deal to me. It’s a huge spectacular of a show and we a feel a great deal of responsibility to do the source material justice.
ON: How did you become involved?
Bob: Well my agent organised the audition, and I went up for part of King Arthur, and was offered the part. It was a no brainer, who wouldn’t want to play King Arthur. Then it dawned on me the multitude and responsibility of the role. I would be following in the footsteps of Graham Chapman, who was fantastic in the role, plus I couldn’t believe that as an unknown actor that I was given the lead role.
ON: How did you prepare for the role?
Bob: I went back and watched Holy Grail several times, and decided I was going to play (King) Arthur as mixture of Graham Chapman and John Cleese: my Arthur is very abrupt and pompous. I wanted him be recognisable to the audience but put my own mark on the role as well.
ON: It’s an extensive tour does it get tiring?
Bob: To be honest no, I’m really enjoying it. We’ve been in Chester this week at the beautiful Storyhouse Theatre, then on to Manchester from Tuesday.
ON: Hopefully the Christmas markets will be open for cheeky mulled wine?
Bob: I was in Manchester this time last year and loved it, managed to get round the markets so hopefully can do next week. Manchester is one of my favourite stops on the tour.
We finish for Christmas at the end of November then the tour starts again in January through to May.
ON: Any idea what’s next for you?
Bob: No idea I’m hoping that we’ll carry on touring with Spamalot as I’m loving what I do, the cast and crew are fabulous, we’re having such a good time.
ON: What can the audience expect from Spamalot?
Just a really great laugh: it’s full of fun silliness; I challenge anyone not to have a good time at Spamalot. It’s ridiculous and just a lot of fun.
ON: What about anyone not familiar with Holy Grail or the Python’s?
BOB: (LAUGHS) bewilderment, but they’ll still be entertained and have a really good time.
ON: How has the audience reaction been so far?
They’ve been really responsive and quite raucous. The matinees have been quite quiet but the evening shows are always packed out and everyone is up for a good time and really get into the swing of it.
ON: Well I’m a huge fan of Holy Grail and Monty Python and am really looking forward to seeing the show. I can’t wait especially the surprise at the end. (No spoilers here)
BOB: That changes from show to show, so you’ll have to see what happens!
Spamalot promises to be fun, silly and enteraining night out with King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table, the Lady of the Lake, and of course the killer rabbits!
Spamalot runs at the Palace Theatre, Manchester from Tuesday 7th November till Saturday 11th November. For tickets head to www.atgtickets.com/shows/spamalot/palace-theatre-manchester/