I went to see the new Monty Python Stage show, Spamalot in London's West End last week and what a great show it is, the show has been adapted for stage by Eric Idle.
Well over half of Spamalot is lifted pretty much verbatim from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and is enormously funny. The rest is musical theatre parody, there's a number that makes fun of Phantom of the Opera, another that sends up glitzy Las Vegas revues, and another that feels like it might have been cut from the Peter Allen biography The Boy From Oz. Andrew Lloyd Webber is the direct target of one gag; Jews, inexplicably, are the butt of the joke in the shows main production number. Even though some of this stuff isn't as lame or cliché as it probably sounds, almost none of it feels like it belongs here: the universe of Monty Python and the Holy Grail just isn't the universe of contemporary big-business musical comedy (in fact, it is more or less the opposite). But Idle doesn't care; he grafts the callow glitter whether it suits his show or not, determined to create a mindless, crowd-pleasing diversion. The theatre had quite a few foreign tourists in it presumably on holiday in London and I can't help wondering if they could really follow this style of humour.
Best suited to dedicated Monty Python fans I think.
When woken by a masked man holding a knife, Winifred Whelan screamed and ran downstairs to the kitchen.
Grabbing a giant carving knife, she told the startled intruder "You call that a knife? This is a knife" in an echo of the famous scene in the Crocodile Dundee film when actor Paul Hogan confronted a New York mugger.
As she took on the intruder, her husband grappled with his accomplice.
Recalling the incident on the day the burglars were jailed for the break-in, Whelan told The Liverpool Echo: "I said to the robber 'You call that a knife?' His was around 10 inches long and I had a carving knife measuring around 14 inches.
"I pointed it at his belly and added 'This is a knife!'"
"The right things to do are those that keep our violence in abeyance; the wrong things are those that bring it to the fore".
Robert J Sawyer