Stephen Tompkinson will make his West End musical debut as King Arthur in Monty Python musical Spamalot when it transfers to the Playhouse Theatre for previews on the 14 November. It has its official opening there on 20 November.
Tompkinson is the latest in a long line of noted actors to have worn the crown of Spamalot’s King Arthur. His predecessors in the role include Tim Curry, Simon Russell Beale, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Peter Davidson and, recently, Jon Culshaw and Marcus Brigstocke.
Tompkinson’s stage credits include Women Laughing and The Revenger's Tragedy at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre, Arsenic and Old Lace at The Strand Theatre, the UK tour of Charley's Aunt in 2007 and the UK tour of Sign of the Times in 2009. He is probably best known for his television work in Ballykissangel, Drop the Dead Donkey, DCI Banks and Wild at Heart and also made a memorable appearance in hit Brit-flick Brassed Off.
'Lovingly ripped off' from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in the uniquely silly Python way.
The show's book is by Python Eric Idle, who collaborated with John Du Prez on its music and lyrics. Its raft of very funny songs is capped by Idle’s classic Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. Mike Nichols directed the original 2005 Broadway production which won three Tony Awards including Best Musical, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical.
Half a decade or so on from its original London run at the Palace Theatre, the show returned to the West End on 24 July this year for an engagement at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Its rousing success there has led to it taking bookings at the Playhouse Theatre until 13 April 2013.