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My first experience of an amateur production of this musical, and I think SAMTC pulled it off well.  Not the most cerebral of shows, but funny and irreverent, and obviously much enjoyed by the cast.

Sam Gaines directed well, and I thought that his cast was well-chosen.  I liked some of the small quirky things integrated into the action, that created amusement, such as the monk’s head banging during the monks chant.

The sound balance of stage versus pit was excellent, the sound team had worked hard to get it right, and whilst we could hear the fine sound of the band, it did not overpower the cast.  There are some lovely numbers in this show, which were executed with finesse by both principals and ensemble, including some great harmonies.  I was impressed by the musical accomplishment generally.  The overture was fun and got us in the mood for a good production.

The set was very good, it was colourful and moved well around the stage, giving the cast plenty of room!

I liked Stefanie Chadburn’s choreography on the whole, a few too many straight lines at times, but it was well within the cast’s capabilities.  

Costumes were lacking in impact for some principals.  In the main ensemble costumes were good, particularly for the Finnish number, but I was a little disappointed in the Knights costumes, they needed to be more colourful to mark them out against everyone else.  The Lady of the Lake’s costumes were excellent, as was her make-up.

I liked the introduction of tap dancing in a couple of the numbers.

Stewart Jordan, who came in at very short notice, played an excellent King Arthur, his experience showed, in that he gave a good characterisation and sang everything with real understanding.  He also achieved good relationships with the cast.

I was a little disappointed that Patsy (played by Gareth Edwards) did not have as much emphasis in his portrayal as I would have liked, some real chances of humour seemed to me to have been played down or missed.

The Laker Girls brought some fun and glamour to the stage, but needed to sharpen up on attention to detail occasionally.  However, I liked what they did.

Ben Fricke was a good full-on Sir Lancelot, however, I felt his diction in the scenes where he used different accents suffered a bit.  Perhaps a slightly slower delivery would have added clarity.

A.J. King as Sir Galahad and Mike Smith as Sir Bedevere both created good characters within the Round Table Knights.

Charlie Harden gave Sir Robin a really silly edge, which contrasted well with other Knights.

Duncan Kennedy performed the Historian well, and was also involved in other parts of the show.

The Lady of the Lake has some great numbers that Clare Cordell performed with great expression and understanding, a super voice, that was well-suited to the music, an excellent all round performance.  I liked her reference to a NODA award!! – and can only say she’ll have to wait and see!!

I particularly liked the harmonies in All for One, and in Find Your Grail we were treated to a fantastic sound from the whole cast.

All in all a very good version of what I find is a rather strange show.   That said, it was bright and had loads of energy with all the cast really buying into it.

St. Albans Musical Theatre Company


review date: 26th April 2017 at

Alban Arena, St Albans

Director:Sam Gaines MD: Susana Tierney

Choreographer: Stefanie Chadburn    


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