Comedian and actor Les Dennis will be reunited with his Life’s Too Short co-star, film and TV actor Warwick Davis, when they star together as King Arthur and Patsy in Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre, in Warwick Davis’ towering West End debut (he was the tallest actor we could find at short notice).
Les Dennis starts his Holy Quest as King Arthur on Saturday 3 August. The production is currently enjoying huge success with a new summer performance schedule, with two shows on Fridays (at 6pm and 9pm, so there are two chances to laugh-a-lot however bad your week’s been).
As one of the country’s most popular funny men for nearly
400 years 40 years, after winning ITV’s New Faces in 1974 (practically the Dark Ages), Les has appeared on a variety of TV shows including Russ Abbot’s Madhouse, The Laughter Show, Family Fortunes, Celebrity Big Brother and Extras. He has also proved his acting credibility in The Bill, Brookside, Merseybeat, Holby City, Casualty and this Christmas he will be guest starring in ITV’s Midsomer Murders. On stage, Les has starred in Chicago, Me and My Girl, Art, Hairspray and Legally Blonde The Musical. He will also be appearing on this year’s series of Celebrity MasterChef, which starts on BBC1 from 31 July.
Les Dennis said; 'As a kid I was always a massive fan of Monty Python so when Spamalot came to town I thought 'I'd really love to be in that'. And now I'm excited that I'm actually not just in it, but playing the lead role. I'm really looking forward to always looking on the bright side of life!'
Warwick Davis will be joining the cast of Spamalot from 23 September. He started his career playing the role of Wicket the Ewok in Star Wars VI: Return of The Jedi and went on to star in the fantasy feature film Willow. He then appeared in The Chronicles of Narnia, Labyrinth and the Leprechaun films, before returning to Star Wars in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Further success followed when he starred in the Harry Potter films, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and in Jack the Giant Slayer (though not as the Giant, obviously). His TV credits include the BBC shows Extras, Merlin, Doctor Who and Life’s Too Short.
Warwick Davis said; 'I'm delighted to be making my West End debut at the Playhouse Theatre. I've been in hit TV shows and blockbuster Hollywood movies, but you are never really taken seriously as an actor until you've done a play. That's why I jumped at the opportunity to play Patsy in Spamalot.'
Joining Les (as King Arthur) and Warwick (as Patsy) on stage will be musical theatre legend and TV star, Bonnie Langford, who excels in the (all-singing-all-dancing) female lead role of The Lady of The Lake. Recent stars who have kept audiences laughing with their portrayal of King Arthur have included Stephen Tompkinson, Jon Culshaw, Marcus Brigstocke and Joe Pasquale (he became King of the Jungle back in 2004 in preparation for the role of King Arthur, at least that’s what we tell people).
The Summer of Charity Spamalot Gods (in 2D) currently features Hugh Bonneville (we actually got the chap from Downton Abbey), Bradley Walsh, Barbara Windsor, Simon Callow, Christopher Biggins and Larry Lamb all playing God on screen during Spamalot for a week at a time, with money being donated to their nominated charities.
Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a kind-of new musical with a book by Eric Idle and an entirely new score for the new production, (well, almost) created by Eric Idle and John Du Prez.
Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls,
witch burnings (cancelled due to health and safety) not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people. The show features fantastic tunes more magical than a Camelot convention, including He Is Not Dead Yet, Knights of the Round Table, Find Your Grail and of course the Nation’s Favourite Comedy Song (Reader’s Digest Poll 2010 - before it went bust), Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
The new season at The Playhouse, which is directed by Christopher Luscombe, follows Eric Idle’s acclaimed performance of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony – the world sang along, and Spamalot audiences get the opportunity to do so too! During the run, there have been 18 onstage moustache incidents, three suspected cases of swine flu (French pigs!), one outbreak of nits and 87 pairs of coconuts used.
'Former Python Eric Idle has come up with a simpler, shorter and zingier version, which in Christopher Luscombe’s fresh-as-paint production, recalls Monty Python’s roots in undergraduate review. The lady sitting next to me spent most of the show physically helpless with laugher. Book yourself a ticket to Spamalot - in these dark days it will help you look on the bright side of life.'
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
'Just give way to your inner child and laugh a lot!'
**** & Critics Choice
Time Out London
***** 'I honestly haven’t laughed so hard and so many times in years'
Daily Star Sunday
**** 'Gloriously British, Eric Idle’s musical returns for a triumphant run'
'A lovely pudding of British silliness topped off with Eric Idle's hilarious songs!'
'Lovingly reformed from the classic film, the new Spamalot had audiences in stitches'
Mail on Sunday
'Spamalot is really great. If you haven’t seen it, go, GO'
Chris Tarrant, BBC Radio 2
Produced by Sir Howard Panter for The Ambassador Theatre Group