Barbara Windsor, Simon Callow and more to play God in Spamalot
In a novel fundraising idea, hit musical Spamalot is to feature a 'Summer of Spamalot Charity Gods' in order to draw attention to and raise money for a number of celebrities' chosen charities. The role of God is usually played by Monty Python legend and Spamalot creator Eric Idle, who appears as the character on a giant screen when King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table are given their quest to find The Holy Grail. Hugh Bonneville, Barbara Windsor, Larry Lamb, Bradley Walsh, Simon Callow and Christopher Biggins have all filmed their parts which will be shown a week at a time starting from Monday 15th July.
Hugh Bonneville, who starts the season off at the Playhouse Theatre next Monday says "I wanted to play God in Spamalot in order to support Scene & Heard, a North London charity, which gives local young people living in challenging circumstances the opportunity to work with arts professionals and create theatre scripted entirely by the children. I'm grateful to the producers of Spamalot for this novel way of bringing attention to Scene & Heard's inspirational work. I'm also delighted to be involved with the show because an ancestor on my mother's side was in fact one of the Knights who say Ni."
Ex-Eastender and Carry On films star Barbara Windsor's week is scheduled for the 5th August slot. The petite bombshell, who plans to be at the Playhouse Theatre on her first night, will be the show's first female God, and she jokes "I wanted to play God in Spamalot because having been four feet, ten and a half inches tall all my life, this would be the first and only time people would look up to me..." The six charities that will benefit from the proceedings are Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre, The Make A Wish Foundation, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Scene & Heard, Stage For Age and Keats Community Library.
Simon Callow will be in the audience on the 12th August, the first night of his week's run. He has donated his fee to the Keats Community Library, revealing that the venue was "scandalously closed by the Local Authority and re-opened by a group of local people headed by my friend, the wonderful actor Lee Montague. I used to live round the corner as a young actor and used the library all the time. Don't know what I would have done without it." He adds "I wanted to play God because it's such a challenging role for a mere mortal. Spamalot is a work of genius and God is the climax. So it was irresistible." Similarly, Larry Lamb muses "From Mick in Gavin and Stacey to God in Monty Python ... where do I go from here?".
Sir Howard Panter, Spamalot's Producer for Ambassador Theatre Group, says "It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to bring friends of the show in to the role of God in this way, so that we can help such deserving causes while making audiences laugh at the same time." The show currently features funnyman Joe Pasquale as King Arthur and has musical theatre legend Bonnie Langford back in the role of The Lady of the Lake after wowing the critics during her initial stint.
The Spamalot musical is currently booking until 2nd November 2013.
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