At the weekend, I attended a couple of productions in the West End of London. Both were good fun so I thought I’d share, in case you’re feeling the need to see some on-stage fantasy in the near future:
First up was " Spamalot ", at the Prince’s Theatre. The movie, "lovingly ripped-off" from Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie by Eric Idle, is pure silliness. It doesn’t follow exactly the same plot as the film but, while feeling like a pantomime, it features many Python staples including the French taunting and the Knights Who Say Ni. It also manages to squeeze in "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" as well as the fish-slapping dance. There were excellent – if rather camp – performances by esteemed actor Simon Russell Beale as Arthur, and Tom Goodman-Hill (him out of Spoons ) as Lancelot.
I also saw the long-running ghost story " The Woman in Black ", at the Fortune Theatre. Based on Susan Hill’s book, it has a very MR James-like feel about it – despite being written in the 1980s, it’s very much a classic gothic horror, including a lonely man forced to spend the night in a brooding house by the shore, a mysterious figure glimpsed in a graveyard and so on. If you're familiar with tales like this, you may well correctly predict the outcome by the time your interval lager is in your hand, but it's a very atmospheric play and well worth a viewing - 18 years of audiences can’t be wrong.
So, have you been to see any SF-related dramas live on stage? Perhaps you harbour fond memories of seeing " Return to the Forbidden Planet " or " The Rocky Horror Show ". Maybe you’re looking forward to the opening of the new " Lord of the Rings " musical. Let us know – whack down some comments (below), share your experiences on our forum (link here ), or write to the mag’s letters page.
And if you fancy going to the theatre, you could do worse than do some research at Theatremonkey.com .