There are killer rabbits, antagonizing Frenchmen, dance routines featuring scantily-clad women, and of course there’s a king galloping around to the clip-clop of banging coconuts.
It’s Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical comedy, and it’s playing in Nanaimo featuring Parksville’s Rob Atkinson until December 7.
Atkinson started acting in community theatre productions in 2007 and since then has done a number of shows with Bard to Broadway (acting as president of the society for a time), Echo Players, and this is his fourth performance with Schmooze Productions in Nanaimo.
Atkinson is a huge Monty Python fan. The first time he saw the comedy group he was probably in Grade 7, he said, so when he heard Schmooze Productions was putting on Spamalot he was eager.
“The idea of being able to play King Arthur was enough of an attractant to get me to go and do it,” he said.
Monty Python’s Eric Idle wrote the book and lyrics involved with Spamalot, which he “lovingly ripped off” from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, he said when the musical came out in 2004. Spamalot won three Tony Awards in 2005 including Best Musical.
In the play, King Arthur trots around searching for knights to join his round table and he encounters a hilarious number of characters including the Knights who say Ni, Tim the Enchanter, Prince Herbert (who wears a dress) and many others. The group eventually heads out on a quest for the holy grail, once God (Eric Idle’s voice) instructs them to.
The Lady of the Lake is featured prominently, singing beautifully about how long her song and other romantic songs can be, and how miffed she is about not having more scenes in the play.
Atkinson said acting in comedies are a hoot, but they are harder than they look to pull off. A full band performs back stage throughout the play and the set and costumes will certainly grab the attention of the audience. It took close to 50 people both front and backstage to bring the show to fruition.
“It’s a big undertaking,” said Atkinson. “With the set and the props and the costumes — the costumes are fabulous.”
Tickets are $25 available online at www.schmoozeproductions.com at Lux-An Accessory Boutique at 212 Commercial street in Nanaimo and by calling 250-739-0721 between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m.