19.10.07

King Doctor

Last night was theatre night, and I went to see Spamalot, a musical derived (chiefly) from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was indeed a fun time, at least until I started to feel cramped a bit as there wasn't quite enough leg room. It wasn't too bad leg room-wise, but I could have used a smidge more.

Anyhow, despite it being a Thursday night, the place (as far as I could see anyway, and I was on the second level, the dress circle) was packed. Londoners really love their theatre to be sure, and although I've seen the source movie far too many times to have been surprised much by the play, there were a couple elements which threw me for a bit of a loop.

First was the inclusion of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life -- a song from Monty Python's The Life of Brian -- in the play. I saw an ad on the tube for Spamalot which quoted a few lines from the song but it didn't click that the song would actually be in the show considering it's source was something completely different (zing!). The song felt EXTREMELY out of place for me, likely due to its context in Life of Brian being stuck in my head, but not only was it sung partway through the show it was also used to close the show. I guess Eric Idle is just getting mileage out of other Python stuff since things like the Finland song and trout-slapping (as well as a nod to The Lumberjack Song) are also in the play.

What really surprised me was the cast. While I didn't recognize most of the cast members, right away I was struck by the inclusion of Bill Ward, who'd played Charlie Stubbs on Corrie for a few years. I'd not seen him in a comedic role before (he played Lancelot and the lead Frenchman, among other roles, in the play) and I thought he did very well. He had decent timing and could do the OTT/Panto-style stuff quite well.

However, the real shocker for me was Peter Davison, good ol' Doctor Who number 5, in the lead role as King Arthur. It took me a few minutes to recognize him, and I had no idea ahead of time that he was in the play. I was very happy to see him doing live theatre (I had no idea what he was up to these days other than a sitcom with one of his kids) and he could really do the comedic stuff well. Part of the draw for me in coming to London was to see Britishisms that people back home (mostly) wouldn't recognize but would make me giggle or gape in awe, and seeing Peter Davison was one of those things. If I hadn't had such a long day and murderously pained feet, I would have stood by the actor's entrance in hopes of getting a picture with him or something afterward.

Instead, I hobbled back to the tube station at Tottenham Court Road, went through the maze (and down an immense spiral staircase -- easily 125 steps) to get to the required platform, and went back to the flat... though not before I experienced by first tube delay, as a train a couple stations ahead wasn't cooperating properly and I got stuck at Bethnal Green station for a good 20 minutes while that was cleared up. The crappy part is that stop is the one before mine, so if the delay had occurred only one stop later, well, to me there would have been no delay.

The spotty wireless is working at the flat for now, so I'm going to take this opportunity to catch up on stuff since I was last online before I get ready to go see Underworld, live in concert, tonight at the Roundhouse.

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