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Old 09-10-2003, 11:57 PM
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Monty Python & The Holy Grail

THE Moresby Arts Theatre (MAT) presents Monty Python and the Holy Grail - a hilarious play full of action and excitement.

The show opens as a gala night for the Kiwi Club, and as a gala night for Miss Milne Bay, Helen Stephen. The Lions Club will also hold a gala night on Wednesday 15 October and this leaves just five public performances which scheduled for the October, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. The evening shows beginning at 7:30pm and run until 10pm.

Who or what is Monty Python?

Monty Python's Flying Circus are a group of zany British actors who created another form of off the wall brand of humour in the 1970's, following in the footsteps of other wildly exaggerated humorists such as the Goons. Some of the Python team are very well known such as John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) and Michael Palin, and there are others who aren't British, like Terry Gilliam, who flavoured the show with amazingly bizarre but effective cartoons.

In this play, we see the usual Python style. Actors play more than one role and one's gender or age is not and impediment to being cast in any particular part. The Holy Grail is about the legend of King Arthur (Nick Bertouli) and his English knights of the round table (Erik Anderson, Abraham Kuaka, John Fox and Mark Goman). They are on a quest to find the Holy Grail, but in this story the legend is turned around as we see the knights somewhat sidetracked on the way by beautiful, if not feminine, maidens in distress and temptresses (led by Lucy Stephens and Tiffany Momgerger) who have things other than grails on their minds.

Dead bodies are carried on and off stage (by Rhonda Marie Andersen and Jennie Lates) and a witch (Nicole Natera) is burned at a stake. The French knights (Bob Stanley and John Fox) have set themselves up in a castle in England and constantly pester Arthur and his brave knights with rocks and stuffed animals.

There are a whole host of other strange characters too, including knights who say 'Ni' (led by Bob Stanley), old bearded man (Daniel Fox) and three headed knights (Tidman Ikobi, Chris Smith and Peter Fox). Bomb wielding monks add some excitement and the strange enchanter (Chris Smith) throws in some fireworks. A marxist peasant (Peter Fox) and his ladyfriend (Bob Stanley) tell Arthur where to go, and the powerful black knight (kevin West) takes Arthur on in the bloodiest scene in the show.

MAT newcomers David Ephraim, Rebecca ALus and Theresau Kurau play a variety of roles, and there are some MAT old hands like Roger Bednall and Karl Simeon to help them along. Kevin West (co-director) narrates as the story unfolds and also plays an interesting part in pink. Yes - cross-dressing abounds in this play, something Phil Stace (temptress) has warmed to now the slinky silken costumes have been made. Phil changes into at least five characters in the play but not all of them are female or human. Then there's violin wielding minstrel, Clyde Willis, a merry minstrel indeed (before getting eaten). While on costumes, Angie Fox and her dedicated team have created some stunning outfits. You may have seem some at last week's craft market where two knights were on view saving a maiden in distress and selling tickets at the same time.

The set, which includes two castles, with moving turrets has been built by the ever reliable Graham Smith, who just keeps going until the job is finished. MAT is also lucky to have some very artistic and innovative people who are helping out with other aspects of the show. Mairi and Jeffrey Feeger, already well known around Port Moresby for their portraits and murals are designing and painting the scenes and props. MAT also has Neil Austin working the sound system and Maore Harova organising lighting for the stage. Then there's Karl Simeon who is filming the play and special effects such as giant rabbits, bombs, squirting blood and hacked limbs have been prepared by Alex Feeger.

It will be a great night out. Purchase your tickets from Ela Beach Hotel, Boroko Foodworld or from Russell Jackson on phone 323 4277. K40 for adults and K10 for students.
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