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Picture this: the lights in the audience are dimmed and a historian (Kerry Clayton ’13) on the stage before you begins a description of medieval England—or, wait, is it Finland? Suddenly you’re confused as villagers fill the stage, slapping each other with fish. “I said, ENGLAND!” Clayton corrects them, but you’re already in tears laughing. This is just the opening scene of Emmanuel’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot.
Directed by Assistant Professor of Performing Arts Scott Gagnon, the show is a musical parody about King Arthur and his knights, “lovingly ripped off” of the classic film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. According to Doug Dame ’13, who plays King Arthur, it is equally as fun to perform as it is to watch.
“My favorite part was riding around on an [imaginary] horse that made the sounds of coconuts,” he said. “I’ve just loved Holy Grail forever, and to wear the authentic costume and pretend to ride a horse around felt like I was making my 13-year-old self proud.”
Even diehard Monty Python fans will be impressed with the accuracy of the script and the theater department’s execution, especially Maeve Buckley ’15’s standout vocal performances as Lady of the Lake (i.e. “The Song That Goes Like This,” with Joe Deauna ’16 as Sir Galahad, and “The Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?)”).
Most impressive is that the production was rehearsed in only a month, as one of the first non-professionally licensed productions of Spamalot.
“Getting the chance to put on one of my favorite movies has been incredible, and the added bonus of not having to worry about our own take on Monty Python copying other theaters is a real relief,” Dame said.
Audiences don’t need to be familiar with the film to enjoy the story of the Holy Grail in all its glory (who couldn’t laugh at the “Knights who say Ni”?), and Emmanuel’s spring production is a must-see. Missed the show last weekend? It’s not too late! Remaining performances are this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Students can make reservations by contacting Director Scott Gagnon (email@example.com) or by stopping by the theater department’s table in the JYC Atrium.