top of page

No Coconuts Were Harmed in the Writing of This Blog Post

By Sean K. Thompson

In these days of thousands of TV channels at your fingertips and the 24-hour news cycle, it's rare for something classic from days of old to remain in the zeitgeist. However, whenever anyone hears coconut halves being banged together in equine manner, universally it's understood to this day that the coconut-banger is referencing Monty Python.

It's the staying power of the quintet of British comedians - Palin, Gilliam, Jones, Cleese, and Idle - over the decades that prompted me to jump at the chance to direct this stage musical version of the hilarious "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." I would argue that these blokes are as popular today as the Beatles or even Harry Potter. I dare you to be in any public venue and cry out, "It's just a flesh wound!" and not be pounced upon by fellow Python fans. Even if those around you haven't actually watched the films, they have an idea of where the quote came from.

I admire the fact that SPAMALOT - as grand scale as it is - keeps true to the "multiple roles for minimal actors" motif made popular by the Pythons. Keep a sharp eye out on various characters in our production that may vaguely look or sound like one of the knights who may have, um, "stepped offstage" for a bit. I, the crew, and our actors have definitely treated the source material with all due reverence (or is that IRREVERENCE?), as all things Monty Python have a fan base that knows every line and character. That's the inherent danger of mounting such an august production in the same vein of ROCKY HORROR.

That being said, even those who know the movie might be surprised at what the stage version has to offer. Notably, there are some fan-favorite film scenes that are missing from SPAMALOT. However, the stage version wonderfully and greatly expands other aspects of the original movie in Broadway-style glory. Las Vegas stands in for Camelot, the Lady of the Lake proves to us that she's not just "some watery tart," and "Brave" Sir Robin gets his own spotlight. And there are plenty of recognizable scenes - including the Black Knight's attempt at a fair fight and the ear-splitting Knights of Ni.

We can't wait for you to join us on our quest for the Holy Grail. And, unlike the similar plotline from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," no horses, stuntmen, or coconuts were harmed in the making of OUR production.

bottom of page