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Spamalot - celebrity actors take on the role of God

Barbara Windsor and Christopher Biggins

Theatre news

THIS summer, celebrity actors will be taking on the role of God in Monty Python’s Spamalot in order to raise money for charity.

‘The Summer of Spamalot Charity Gods’ has been created to raise-a-lot of shillings for several charities including Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre, The Make A Wish Foundation, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Scene & Heard, Stage For Age and Keats Community Library which are supported by the actors taking part.

The actors took time out of their busy schedule to film the part of God, which will be shown during each performance of Spamalot, with their portrayal running for a week at a time from July 15 onwards.

It was Hugh Bonneville who kicked off the season this week. He will be followed by Barbara Windsor, who will be at the theatre on Monday, August 5 for her first night as God and Simon Callow, who will be in the audience on Monday, August 12 to mark his first night.

Other stars signed up include Larry Lamb, Bradley Walsh and Christopher Biggins, whose opening nights will be announced soon.

The role of God is usually played by Python legend Eric Idle, and features in Spamalot when King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table are given their quest to find The Holy Grail.

Downton Abbey star, Hugh Bonneville said: “I wanted to play God in Spamalot in order to support Scene & Heard, a North London charity, which gives local young people living in challenging circumstances the opportunity to work with arts professionals and create theatre scripted entirely by the children. I’m grateful to the producers of Spamalot for this novel way of bringing attention to Scene & Heard’s inspirational work. I’m also delighted to be involved with the show because an ancestor on my mother’s side was in fact one of the Knights who say Ni.”

Legendary British actress, Barbara Windsor, who plays Spamalot’s first female God, said: “I wanted to play God in Spamalot because having been 4ft 10.5 inches tall (four feet, ten and a half inches) all my life, this would be the first and only time people would look up to me…..”.

EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey star, Larry Lamb, said: “From Mick in Gavin and Stacey to God in Monty Python … where do I go from here?”

Describing his portrayal as God in Spamalot, stage and screen actor, Simon Callow said: “I wanted to play God because it’s such a challenging role for a mere mortal. Spamalot is a work of genius and God is the climax. So it was irresistible. The charity to whom I’ve donated my fee is the Keats Grove Library, scandalously closed by the Local Authority and re-opened by a group of local people headed by my friend, the wonderful actor Lee Montague. I used to live round the corner as a young actor and used the library all the time. Don’t know what I would have done without it.”

Comedian Joe Pasquale is currently playing King Arthur, with Bonnie Langford as The Lady of The Lake. The production recently started a new summer performance schedule, which includes two shows on Fridays at 6pm and 9pm.

Other stars who have appeared as King Arthur include Stephen Tompkinson, Jon Culshaw and Marcus Brigstocke.