Monty Python’s Spamalot School Edition

Monty Python’s Spamalot School Edition

Spamalot School Edition is a slightly reworked version of the original Broadway script. The School Edition has been carefully edited, with additional director’s notes throughout, to make the show more producible for high school groups. In some cases problematic language has been changed, while in others an alternate choice is offered at the discretion of the director. The School Edition has been field tested at numerous high schools under the supervision of a teacher/director with forty years’ experience in educational theatre. Every effort has been made to provide more opportunities for female actors. Reference is made to this in both the characters list as well as in the director’s notes throughout the script.

Act I

The play begins with a historian giving a brief overview of medieval England. An idyllic Scandinavian village appears, with gaily dressed Finnish villagers singing and dancing to the “Fisch Schlapping Song.” The Historian returns, irritated, and tells them he said “England”, not Finland. The villagers disperse and the pastoral forest is immediately replaced by a dreary, dark village with penitent monks in hooded robes chanting Latin prayers and hitting themselves in the face with wooden boards. King Arthur travels the land with his servant Patsy (“King Arthur’s Song”), trying to recruit Knights of the Round Table to join him in Camelot and his quest for the Holy Grail. He encounters various strange people, including a pair of sentries who are more interested in debating whether two swallows could successfully carry a coconut than in guarding their castles. Sir Robin and Sir Lancelot meet as they attempt to dispose of the sickly Not Dead Fred (“He Is Not Dead Yet”). They agree to become Knights of the Round Table together.

Meanwhile, Arthur attempts to convince a peasant named Dennis Galahad that he (Arthur) is king of England because the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur, the sword given only to the man fit to rule England. However, Dennis and his mother, Mrs. Galahad, are political radicals and deny that any king who has not been elected by the people has any legitimate right to rule over them. To settle the issue, Arthur has the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls appear to turn Dennis into a knight (“Come With Me”). Cheered on by the girls (“Laker Girls Cheer”), the Lady of the Lake turns Dennis into Sir Galahad and together, they sing a generic Broadway love song (“The Song That Goes Like This”). Together, with Sir Bedevere and Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Show (a knight resembling Don Quixote who promptly apologizes and then leaves), they make up the Knights of the Round Table (“All for One”).

The five knights gather in Camelot, a deliberately anachronistic place resembling Las Vegas’s Camelot-inspired Excalibur resort, complete with showgirls and oversized dice (“Knights of the Round Table” / “The Song That Goes Like This (Reprise)”). In the midst of their revelry, they are contacted by God (voiced by John Cleese) who tells them to locate the Holy Grail. Urged on by the Lady of the Lake (“Find Your Grail”), the Knights set off. They are viciously taunted by lewd French soldiers at a castle they come to, and attempt to retaliate by sending them a large wooden rabbit in the style of the Trojan Horse; however, they realize after the fact that it was not as simple as leaving the rabbit and walking away – they were supposed to be inside of it. Defeated, they leave in a hurry when the French begin throwing various barnyard animals – including cows – at them (“Run Away”).

Act II

Sir Robin and his minstrels follow King Arthur and Patsy into a “dark and very expensive forest” where they are separated. King Arthur meets the Knights who say Ni, who demand a shrubbery. King Arthur despairs of finding one, but Patsy cheers him up (“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”) and they find a shrubbery shortly after. The Knights accept it, but next demand that King Arthur put on a musical and bring it to Broadway.

The Black Knight appears but King Arthur more or less defeats him by cutting off both his arms and legs, impaling his still-alive torso on a door, and leaving to find Sir Robin. Sir Robin, after wandering the forest for some time (“Brave Sir Robin”), finds King Arthur and insists that it would be impossible for them to accomplish this next task (“You Won’t Succeed on Broadway”). King Arthur and Patsy promptly set off in search of Jews. While the Lady of the Lake laments her lack of stage time (“The Diva’s Lament”), Sir Lancelot receives a letter from what he assumes is a young damsel in distress. He is a little surprised to find that the damsel is actually an effeminate young man named Herbert (“Where Are You?” / “Here Are You”) whose overbearing, music-hating father, the king, is forcing him into an arranged marriage. Lancelot advocates for Herbert after the king returns, and Lancelot is outed as a homosexual in the process (“His Name Is Lancelot”).

King Arthur begins to give up hope of ever putting on the Broadway musical and laments that he is alone, even though Patsy has been with him the entire time (“I’m All Alone”). The Lady of the Lake appears and tells Arthur that he and the Knights have been in a Broadway musical all along. All that’s left is for King Arthur to find the Grail and marry someone. After picking up on some not-too-subtle hints, Arthur decides to marry the Lady of the Lake after he finds the Grail (“Twice In Every Show”).

Reunited with his Knights, Arthur meets Tim the Enchanter who warns them of the danger of an evil rabbit. When the rabbit bites a knight’s head off, Arthur uses the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch against it, knocking down a nearby hill and revealing that the “evil rabbit” was actually a puppet controlled by a surprised puppeteer. A large stone block showing a combination of letters and numbers is also revealed. After pondering the final clue, Arthur admits that they’re “a bit stumped with the clue thing” and asks God to “give them a hand”. The grail is “found”; Arthur marries the Lady of the Lake (who reveals that her name is Guinevere); Lancelot marries Herbert; and Sir Robin decides to pursue a career in musical theatre (“Act 2 Finale/ Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Company Bow)”).

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT

Book & Lyrics by ERIC IDLE

Music by JOHN DU PREZ & ERIC IDLE

A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

From the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Original Broadway Production produced by Boyett Ostar Productions,The Shubert Organization, Arielle Tepper Madover, Stephanie McClelland/Lawrence Horowitz,

Elan V McAllister/Allan S. Gordon, Independent Presenters Network, Roy Furman, GRS Associates, Jam Theatricals, TGA Entertainment, and Clear Channel 

KING ARTHUR (Late 30s-60s.): The King of England who sets out on a quest to form the Knights of the Roundtable and find the Holy Grail. Great Humor. Good singer.

SIR ROBIN (30s-40s): A Knight of the Roundtable. Ironically called ‘Sir Robin the Brave,’ though he couldn’t be more cowardly. Joins the Knights for the singing and dancing.

SIR LANCELOT d/b/a LANCE (30s-40): A Knight of the Roundtable. He is fearless to a bloody fault, but through a twist of fate, does discover his ‘softer side. 

PATSY (30s-40s): King Arthur’s horse and servant. Underappreciated but always longing for King Arthur’s approval. Good, funny, physical mover with some tap dancing.

SIR GALAHAD (30s): A Knight of the Roundtable. Begins as Dennis, a lower class ‘mud gatherer’ who becomes knighted and transforms into the dashing Sir Galahad. Strong bari/tenor singing required.

SIR BEDEVERE (20s-40s): A Knight of the Roundtable. An inept scholar. No solo singing.

THE LADY OF THE LAKE (20s-30s): A Diva. Strong, beautiful, possesses mystical powers. The leading lady of the show. Great singing voice is essential, as she must be able to sing effortlessly in many styles and vocal registers.

*HISTORIAN: A tweedy academic. Must have excellent diction.

*NOT DEAD FRED: A sickly little fellow who, despite others’ beliefs, claims he is “not yet dead.”

*PRINCE HERBERT: The hopeful and frilly prince who loves to sing, and pines for his love atop a tower.

*Can be played by the same actor or different actors

THE VOICE OF GOD may be live or recorded. (Eric Idle’s GOD voiceover is provided on the TRW Production CD.)

ENSEMBLE: The ensemble/chorus also cover the following roles:

(These roles can all be played by female or male actors.)

MAYOR and FINLAND VILLAGERS

SINGING MONKS: Males can sing offstage with female monks onstage

SIR NOT APPEARING: DON QUIXOTE or any other well-known knight such as BATMAN the Dark Knight, a Jedi Knight, a Knight of Columbus, etc. (This character is a good opportunity for a cameo appearance by a beloved administrator, local official, etc.)

DENNIS GALAHAD’S MOTHER: a shrill peasant woman (often played by a large male actor as an homage to the original Python sketches. 

THE DANCING MONK

THE DANCING NUN

THE FRENCH TAUNTER: an arrogant, condescending, over-the-top Frenchman

TWO FRENCH GUARDS: also arrogant, condescending, over-the-top Frenchman

ROBIN’S MINSTRELS: In Sir Robin’s band

THE KNIGHT OF NI: an absurd, cartoonish leader of a peculiar group of Knights

THE KNIGHTS OF NI: usually played by female actors

THE BLACK KNIGHT: who is always ready to duel despite multiple injuries.

PRINCE HERBERT’S FATHER: a wealthy, brutish Yorkshireman at odds with his sensitive son

GUARD 1: The lead guard 

GUARD 2: A drunken, useless guard

CONCORDE: Sir Lancelot’s horse and servant

TIM THE ENCHANTER: a ghostly being with a Scottish accent.

SIR BORS: a knight who will confront the killer rabbit

14 Musicians

Piano/Conductor (Keyboard 1)

Keyboard 2 (Keyboard, Accordion)

Keyboard 3

Reed 1 (Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax)

Reed 2 (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)

French Horn

Trumpet 1 (B-flat, Piccolo)

Trumpet 2

Trombone

Solo Violin

Guitar (Nylon, Steel, Electric (solid body & hollow body), Banjo, Ukulele)

Bass (Acoustic and Electric (5 string))

Drums

Percussion (Bass Drum, Bongos, Chimes, China Cymbal, Cowbell, Finger Cymbal, Glockenspiel, Maracas, Mark Tree, Piatti, Ratchet, Shaker, Siren, Spoons, Suspended Cymbal, Tabor Drum, Tambourine, Tambourine w/ Skin, Timpani, Triangle, Vibra Slap, Xylophone)


Optional Add On:
 Broadway String Packet available! (Violins 1, 2 & 3, Violas and Cellos.)  Contact one of our licensing representatives for details. **The orchestration for the licensed version of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT contains a reduction of the Broadway string parts which are played by Keyboard 2 and Keyboard 3. If you choose to order the Broadway String Packet for your performance, you can either use the live strings as a replacement for the KEYBOARD 3 part or alongside it to enhance the string sound in your orchestra. However, should you choose to use the strings as a replacement for Keyboard 3, be aware that Keyboard 2 remains essential. In addition, please be advised that the Broadway String Packet is an additional item and therefore, the Piano/Conductor book contains cues for the Keyboard 2 and Keyboard 3 parts, but not for the individual string parts.

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