Seven Surprising & Silly Spamalot Facts
With Selladoor Worldwide’s riotously funny new production of Spamalot riding into Coventry next week, we’ve embarked on a quest of our own to uncover a few fascinating details about the show.
Ahead of its run at the Belgrade Theatre 27 February – 3 March, here are seven fun facts and figures you might not know about the Tony Award-winning Monty Python musical.
- The very first production of Spamalot opened on Broadway in 2005 and ran until early 2009 for a total of 1,575 performances.
- In addition to winning the Tony Award for best musical, the show also made more than $175 million in profits, with all the original Python members receiving a cut of the takings.
- The giant foot that crashes down during the opening credits of Monty Python’s Flying Circus as well as appearing onstage in Spamalot originally came a Renaissance painting. Found in Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by the Italian master Bronzino, it’s actually the foot of Cupid himself.
- Long before appearing in the classic Monty Python sketch from which the musical Spamalot gets its peculiar title, the tinned, processed meat known as Spam was familiar to families throughout the UK and elsewhere, booming in popularity thanks to meat rationing during and after the Second World War. But despite this, there’s still some debate over where the name originated. Among the more common explanations is that it’s an abbreviation of “Spiced Ham”, though the company that produces it once claimed it actually stands for “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”.
- Today, Spam continues to enjoy surprising popularity in South Korea, where it’s actually considered a luxury food! First introduced by American soldiers during the Korean War, it’s now given as gifts, eaten during holidays, and even serves as the basis for elaborate meals in fancy restaurants.
- The alternative meaning for spam – those irritating junk emails sent in bulk to your computer – was actually named after the Python sketch where everything on the menu of a greasy spoon café contains the once-popular processed meat, with customers unable to order a meal without it.
- On April 23rd, 2007 at 7pm in Trafalgar Square, 5,567 people, led by members of the Spamalot cast, became the world’s largest coconut orchestra as they clip-clopped along to a rendition of the much-loved Python number “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”.
Spamalot shows at the Belgrade Theatre from Tuesday 27 February until Saturday 3 March. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or visiting the website at www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.