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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 13:54 GMT
Python launches West End Spamalot
Tim Curry was nominated for a Tony for his role as King Arthur
Monty Python comedian Eric Idle has announced details of the West End run of his musical Spamalot.

Tickets have gone on sale for the show, which opens in London in October after a record-breaking run on Broadway, during which it won three Tony awards.

Tim Curry will reprise his Broadway role of King Arthur for his first West End appearance in more than 20 years.

The musical, written by Idle, is based on the Pythons' 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Idle launched the show with a troupe of dancers in Copacabana costumes and a series of songs and sketches at the Palace Theatre, where the musical will open.

Joined by actress Hannah Waddingham, who will play the Lady of the Lake, he also handed out Spam sandwiches, the subject of a popular Python sketch.

Stage success

The comedian joked that he had opened the musical in the US because his previous projects had been savaged by the press when they opened in London.

The Monty Python team
The film saw the Python team send up the Arthurian legend

"I ran away to seek my fortune in America, where the people are less discerning and the critics are more easily bribed," he said.

Best known for film roles including Dr Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, actor Curry's London stage credits include Hair and National Theatre work such as The Rivals.

Shakespearean actor Simon Russell Beale, who is currently playing King Arthur in the New York production, will take over the role in London next January.

Listen to Eric Idle talk about his play Spamalot

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