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GG
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I've done a little review of Monty Python's Spamalot for a school magazine - am on my second draft but would really appreciate any feedback whatsoever. So if you could even read it and tell me what you think, I'd be grateful.

 

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue (W1)

Tickets from £17.50, run ends 3rd January 2009

 

In a restaurant, you don't expect to find something on your plate you haven't ordered. When you've ordered a vegetarian pizza, you don't expect to find beef as an additional topping. However, this restaurant sits in the thespian quarter, the West End - where perhaps one ought to expect the unexpected."

 

The only actualised expectation was witnessing a revered Indian hero perform. Now, Gandhi and Nehru were well before my time, and although I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Sachin Tendulkar bat masterfully, nothing compares to seeing Sanjeev Bhaskar fulfil the role of King Arthur. The Goodness Gracious Me star impressed his unique brand of Indian comedy onto the show, subverting several phrases with a heavy Indian accent: “I am King of the Britons”. The protagonist, for whom Spamalot is the first foray into the West End, acted well with the faults regarding his role nothing to do with his performance.

 

The quick turns of wit and satirical humour that embody Monty Python completely are present, but there was still something missing. Production was flawless, the acting faultless and the musical numbers entertaining – which pointed towards a brilliant musical. It wasn’t though. Although the plot is simply re-enacting the best scenes from the 1975 film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ entwined with comical debauched songs, it wasn’t cohesive. The plot wound out to a partially satisfying ending that was completely unnatural. ‘Happily ever after’ isn’t usually associated with the Monty Python brand.

 

The show did not live up to the name that forebears it, it possessed Python-esque humour but the charm found in the films was not found. Giant feet representing God instead of an animated caricature of W.G Grace was one disappointment, but the total lack of depth to any of the characters was the greatest let down. The story, more joke-based than cohesion-orientated, was a sham. It resulted in no character, including the protagonist, being developed to a level where connection with the audience could be built. This absent relationship, key in great Python films such as ‘The Life of Brian’, was wholly unfulfilling.

 

Spamalot is an enjoyable experience on a superficial level, but being presented beneath the Monty Python banner conjured expectations that could never be fulfilled. The fact that it is a Monty Python production is what disappoints most; paling in comparison to its ancestors. However, it is entertaining and if you forget its Python connections and enjoy it for what it is, you can’t be disappointed. See the show whilst you still can, just don’t go to the Piz Pasta Hut on Cambridge Circus – they can’t fulfil an order, let alone the expectation of a half-decent meal.

 

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I like it, but i'd expect more Python style talk (as in yours and the way its wrote)

 

 

Though this is a bit daft:

 

'if you forget its Python connections and enjoy it for what it is, you can’t be disappointed'

 

Well its a MP tribute or based on, so how can you forget it and enjoy it for what it is? That doesn't make sense imo.

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Guest Heneage

Ok you wanted me to be critical so.

 

Try not to start with a quote, a review is all about getting key facts in first it works on the scale of the Journalistic Pyramid.

 

Your first paragraph opens a bit long and it takes a while for me to get what you are on about in terms of Spamalot. So I would possibly order it differently moving the Sanjeev Baskar history further down. Conclusion is a bit like slapped in.

 

But its good though but in terms of if you were looking to get into it professionally, I would as you have a good talent potentially but needs refining. Well done mate.

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Thanks for the feedback - this conforms with what Nixon thought would improve and generally betters the piece, doesn't it?

 

In a restaurant, you don't expect to find something on your plate you haven't ordered. When you've ordered a vegetarian pizza, you don't expect to find beef as an additional topping. However, this restaurant sits in the thespian quarter, the West End - where perhaps one ought to expect the unexpected.

 

Spamalot itself presented the unexpected, the quick turns of wit and satirical humour that embody Monty Python completely are present, but there was something missing. Production was flawless, the acting faultless and the musical numbers entertaining – which pointed towards a brilliant musical. It wasn’t though. Although the plot is simply re-enacting the best scenes from the 1975 film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ entwined with comically debauched songs, it wasn’t cohesive. The plot wound out to a partially satisfying ending that was completely unnatural. ‘Happily ever after’ isn’t usually associated with the Monty Python brand.

 

The only actualised expectation was witnessing a revered Indian hero perform. Now, Gandhi and Nehru were well before my time, and although I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Sachin Tendulkar bat masterfully, nothing compares to seeing Sanjeev Bhaskar fulfil the role of King Arthur. The Goodness Gracious Me star impressed his unique brand of Indian comedy onto the show, subverting several phrases with a heavy Indian accent: “I am King of the Britons”. The protagonist, for whom Spamalot is the first foray into the West End, acted well, with the faults regarding his role nothing to do with his performance.

 

The show did not though, live up to the name that forebears it, possessing Python-esque humour but none of the charm found in the films. Giant feet representing God instead of an animated caricature of W.G Grace was one disappointment, but the total lack of depth to any of the characters was the greatest let down. The story, more joke-based than cohesion-orientated, was a sham. It resulted in no character, including the protagonist, being developed to a level where connection with the audience could be built. This absent relationship, key in great Python films such as ‘The Life of Brian’, was wholly unfulfilling.

 

On a superficial level though, Spamalot is enjoyable, but being presented beneath the Monty Python banner conjured expectations that could never be fulfilled. The fact that it is a Monty Python production is what disappoints most; paling in comparison to its ancestors. However, it is entertaining and if you forget its Python connections and enjoy it for what it is, you can’t be disappointed. See the show whilst you still can, just don’t go to the Piz Pasta Hut on Cambridge Circus – they can’t fulfil an order, let alone the expectation of a half-decent meal.

 

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Thanks for the feedback - this conforms with what Nixon thought would improve and generally betters the piece, doesn't it?

 

In a restaurant, you don't expect to find something on your plate you haven't ordered. When you've ordered a vegetarian pizza, you don't expect to find beef as an additional topping. However, this restaurant sits in the thespian quarter, the West End - where perhaps one ought to expect the unexpected.

 

Spamalot itself presented the unexpected, the quick turns of wit and satirical humour that embody Monty Python completely are present, but there was something missing. Production was flawless, the acting faultless and the musical numbers entertaining – which pointed towards a brilliant musical. It wasn’t though. Although the plot is simply re-enacting the best scenes from the 1975 film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ entwined with comically debauched songs, it wasn’t cohesive. The plot wound out to a partially satisfying ending that was completely unnatural. ‘Happily ever after’ isn’t usually associated with the Monty Python brand.

 

The only actualised expectation was witnessing a revered Indian hero perform. Now, Gandhi and Nehru were well before my time, and although I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Sachin Tendulkar bat masterfully, nothing compares to seeing Sanjeev Bhaskar fulfil the role of King Arthur. The Goodness Gracious Me star impressed his unique brand of Indian comedy onto the show, subverting several phrases with a heavy Indian accent: “I am King of the Britons”. The protagonist, for whom Spamalot is the first foray into the West End, acted well, with the faults regarding his role nothing to do with his performance.

 

The show did not though, live up to the name that forebears it, possessing Python-esque humour but none of the charm found in the films. Giant feet representing God instead of an animated caricature of W.G Grace was one disappointment, but the total lack of depth to any of the characters was the greatest let down. The story, more joke-based than cohesion-orientated, was a sham. It resulted in no character, including the protagonist, being developed to a level where connection with the audience could be built. This absent relationship, key in great Python films such as ‘The Life of Brian’, was wholly unfulfilling.

 

On a superficial level though, Spamalot is enjoyable, but being presented beneath the Monty Python banner conjured expectations that could never be fulfilled. The fact that it is a Monty Python production is what disappoints most; paling in comparison to its ancestors. However, it is entertaining and if you forget its Python connections and enjoy it for what it is, you can’t be disappointed. See the show whilst you still can, just don’t go to the Piz Pasta Hut on Cambridge Circus – they can’t fulfil an order, let alone the expectation of a half-decent meal.

 

 

I like it.

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As a journalism major I would also recommend not starting with a quote, really makes pieces lose their punch.  You need to start off with a strong lede, one sentence that sums up what the reader will be reading in the article, nothing more and nothing less.

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Guest Heneage

What year you in Cuba? But yeh hes hit nail on the head really, the intro is important and where the main stuff has to be.

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As a journalism major I would also recommend not starting with a quote, really makes pieces lose their punch.  You need to start off with a strong lede, one sentence that sums up what the reader will be reading in the article, nothing more and nothing less.

That's what I've always been taught as well, both in Swedish and English. IIRC, every teacher I've ever had has seen it as a major negative to start a review with a quote, it's seen as lazy.

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Guest Heneage

Yeh I graduate 2010 Journalism.

 

As a journalism major I would also recommend not starting with a quote, really makes pieces lose their punch.  You need to start off with a strong lede, one sentence that sums up what the reader will be reading in the article, nothing more and nothing less.

That's what I've always been taught as well, both in Swedish and English. IIRC, every teacher I've ever had has seen it as a major negative to start a review with a quote, it's seen as lazy.

See it can be seen as lazy because often the good introduction is not easy to find, I remember my first assignment it took a good three or four attempts of word changing and and re-jigging. The magazine I'm currently working at, I got a text message saying "I need an intro for Little comets in 20 minutes mate cheers x" I nearly dropped a bollock haha!

 

 

But yeah back to topic, i'd keep it up GG is it something you'd consider career wise?

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Yeh I graduate 2010 Journalism.

 

As a journalism major I would also recommend not starting with a quote, really makes pieces lose their punch.  You need to start off with a strong lede, one sentence that sums up what the reader will be reading in the article, nothing more and nothing less.

That's what I've always been taught as well, both in Swedish and English. IIRC, every teacher I've ever had has seen it as a major negative to start a review with a quote, it's seen as lazy.

See it can be seen as lazy because often the good introduction is not easy to find, I remember my first assignment it took a good three or four attempts of word changing and and re-jigging. The magazine I'm currently working at, I got a text message saying "I need an intro for Little comets in 20 minutes mate cheers x" I nearly dropped a bollock haha!

 

 

But yeah back to topic, i'd keep it up GG is it something you'd consider career wise?

 

good band the little comets.

 

GG - i'd cut down the analogy with ordering from a restaurant tbh, or at least condense it down into one, quick sentence rather than a paragraph. if anything will lose readers it is not getting straight to the point. other than that, thumbs up.

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The only thing about that little anecdote is that it actually happened, and it happened that exact same evening. I'll twist it around a bit though and post what I've done when I do so.  :thup:

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