Beale's first performance as King Arthur, it was announced Dec. 12, will be Jan. 8, 2007. Beale, who previously played that same role in the Broadway production of the Tony-winning musical, will join a company that features Hannah Waddingham as the Lady of the Lake, Christopher Sieber as Sir Dennis Galahad, David Birrell as Patsy, Tom Goodman-Hill as Sir Lancelot and Robert Hands as Sir Robin.
In other casting news, Graham McDuff will replace Sieber as Sir Galahad on Jan. 29.
Spamalot, which is directed by Mike Nichols, is "lovingly ripped-off" from the screenplay of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." The musical features a book by Eric Idle based on the screenplay he co-wrote with Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. The new score — with music and lyrics by Idle and composer John Du Prez ("A Fish Called Wanda") — includes songs ("Brave Sir Robin" and "Knights of the Round Table") from the original film as well as the Python signature "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."
The musical, according to press notes, tells the "the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail [and] features a chorus line of dancing divas (and serfs), flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and a legless knight."
Spamalot began performances at London's Palace Theatre Sept. 30. The musical continues to play Broadway's Shubert Theatre. Simon Russell Beale was most recently seen in productions of The Alchemist and The Life of Galileo, both at London's National Theatre. He won an Olivier Award for his performance in Uncle Vanya, and his numerous other London stage credits include Macbeth, The Philanthropist, Twelfth Night, Humble Boy, Candide, Edward II, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Jumpers. Beale also starred in the Broadway production of Jumpers, earning a Tony nomination for his performance.
For more information about the London production of Spamalot, which is now booking until July 22, 2007, call 0870 8900142.