Spamalot: New Casting Details Announced For Monty Python Musical

Further casting announcements have just been made for the West End production of the hugely successful Broadway musical Monty Python’s Spamalot.

It has now been confirmed that Christopher Sieber will be playing the role of the blonde-tressed Sir Dennis Galahad, the part he made his own in the Broadway production at New York’s Shubert Theatre.

Sieber has an extensive background in musical theatre, previously starring in Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Milly and Beauty And The Beast.
He’ll be joining a cast that will, initially, also include Tim Curry as King Arthur, in his first West End role in twenty years. Curry will play King Arthur until January 2007 when the acclaimed stage actor (and current inhabitant of the role in New York) Simon Russell Beale will take over following his stint at the National in their production of Brecht’s The Life of Galileo followed by a part in Nicholas Hytner’s production of The Alchemist (see our National Theatre Summer Season Preview for more details).

Tom Goodman-Hill (the star of C4’s Spoons who recently played Peter Cook in the West End comic tribute Pete and Dud: Come Again has been cast as Sir Lancelot and Hannah Waddingham will play the show’s token female character, the Lady of the Lake. Robert Hands has been cast as (brave, brave) Sir Robin

The musical has been ridiculously successful during its New York run, breaking house records and playing to sell-out audiences (despite having some of the most exorbitant ticket prices on Broadway). It’s done well with the critics as well, receiving mostly favourable reviews, as well as securing director Mike Nichols his eighth Tony Award.

Spamalot is, of course, the stage version of the cult film Monty Python and The Holy Grail. The oft-quoted film has been reworked for the stage by former Python Eric Idle with a new score by Idle and John Du Prez as well as several songs taken from the film itself. The expletively inventive Frenchmen, the limbless knights and the evil killer bunnies have all wisely been retained for the stage.

Spamalot is one of three major Broadway productions coming to the UK this year. Before the Monty Python musical begins its run in the autumn, the newly renamed Noel Coward Theatre, currently the Albery, will stage foul-mouthed puppet fest Avenue Q and the massively popular Wicked, the musical story of the witches of OZ, will open at the Apollo Victoria. The latter, set to star Broadway favourite Idina Menzel as the green-skinned Elphaba, has already broken UK box office records, pipped only by the imminent arrival of Dirty Dancing in the ticket sales stakes.

It’s not all one way though. Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, featuring its original UK cast including Richard Griffiths and Frances De La Tour, has just opened in the US to almost unanimously glowing reviews. The New York Times described it as having “a seductive polish that New York audiences have seldom experienced of late.”

Monthy Python’s Spamalot opens at the Palace Theatre, London on 16 Oct 2006, following previews from 2 Oct and is booking to 31 March 2007.

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