Andrew Barton

Puns and parodies

NANAIMO – Knights of the Round Table ride into Nanaimo as part of Schmooze Productions’ Spamalot

Puns and parodies liberally pepper Nanaimo’s Centre Stage when King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table ride into town searching for the Holy Grail.

Presented by Nanaimo’s Schmooze Productions, Monty Python’s Spamalot, the three-time Tony Award-winning play, takes an irreverent look at the legendary Arthurian era of the Middle Ages.

With big songs, a chorus line of dancing divas, knee slapping knights, and the bumbling sincerity of King Arthur himself, Spamalot is lovingly ripped off from the cult classic film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Dean Chadwick, artistic director and producer, said he still remembers familiar lines from the well-watched movie.

Getting a production of this calibre to Nanaimo was no easy quest in itself. Chadwick said he talked fast and never gave up.

“It was expensive getting the rights, but I wanted to bring something memorable, unique and a bit avant-garde to Nanaimo,” he said.

Pushing convention isn’t new for Chadwick. The mandate for his production company is to bring edgy to Nanaimo.

Over the past five years he’s produced The Full Monty and Rocky Horror Picture Show. With Spamalot he not only brings comedy and music but also a spoof of Medieval England.

Retaining many of the classic film’s best bits, including encounters with killer rabbits, flatulent Frenchmen and Not Dead Fred, the Knights of this Round Table are unapologetic in their absurdity.

With the local talent of Rob Atkinson who plays King Arthur, Gary Alfred as Sir Lancelot, Gord Bestwick playing Sir Galahad, David Mathews as the timid Sir Robin and Brennan Conroy as Sir Bedevere, the play takes the audience through the travels of King Arthur, with coconut-clacking servant, Patsy.

“We use local artists,” said Chadwick. “Because Nanaimo has so much incredible talent.”

Chadwick, an elementary school teacher turned theatre company owner, producer and director, with his two daughters and wife are passionate about theatre. The casting and rehearsal process, started in September and at a minimum 14 hours a week, has lasted more than two months.

“We play to sell-out crowds because we present quality productions,” Chadwick said.

Decades later Monty Python is still entertaining audiences with slapstick humour, repeatable laugh lines and memorable, award winning songs. Performances run Nov 14-16, 21-23, 28-30 and Dec 5-7. Tickets are $25.

“No one will be disappointed,” said Chadwick. “There is intrigue for everyone, humour for the men and dancing knights in tights for the ladies.”

For tickets or for more information, please visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Process begins to try to get Lantzville lookout trail authorized

Regional District of Nanaimo staff will report back to parks and trails committee

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Do-over vote has similar result, 280-unit development in Lantzville going to public hearing

Mayor’s motion to rescind Clark/Medd application’s second reading fails 3-2

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Most Read