Both Tim Curry and Simon Russell Beale will repeat their Broadway turns as King Arthur in the London transfer of Tony Award-winning tuner “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”
Tony nominee Curry returns to the West End stage after a 20-year absence to open the show at the Palace Theater on Oct. 17 following previews beginning Oct. 2. Russell Beale, who took over from Curry and is currently playing Arthur at the Shubert on Broadway, will step into the London production in January.
The show’s original female lead, Sara Ramirez, will not be traveling to London to play the Lady of the Lake. Her role will be taken by Hannah Waddingham, looking to turn around a career in which she has been the strongest performer in such West End misses as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Beautiful Game” and Ben Elton’s Rod Stewart jukebox musical “Tonight’s the Night.”
Completing the cast are David Birrell as Patsy, Tom Goodman Hill as Sir Lancelot and Robert Hands as Sir Robin.
The show’s book writer, lyricist and co-composer, Eric Idle, described himself at the London press launch as “the sixth nicest and cheapest” of the original six Pythons.
New York production of “Spamalot” recouped in six months, a record Idle ascribed to the return of comedy in musicals, “which had long been asleep when helicopters were starring.” Jokingly referring to the fact that he and composer John Du Prez were overlooked at the 2005 Tony Awards, he observed, “We’re not bitter. We’re Brits, so we’re used to disappointment, and I have the support of a wonderful woman: my chemist.”
Tickets for the West End run went on sale Tuesday, at a top price of £60 ($104.74).