Indian comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar to be enthroned in West End hit

June 8th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 8 (IANS) Indian-born television comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar is to play the starring role in an award-winning and record-breaking London musical that parodies a British legend. He will be crowned the new Arthur, the King of the Britons, in Monty Python’s “Spamalot” - a multi-award winning take-off on Camelot, the story of the legendary British king.

Actor-writer Bhaskar will debut June 23 in a play which is a spin-off from the popular film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and opened at London’s West End in October 2006.

The musical, described as a “merciless parody” of the Arthurian legend, has had a large celebrity audience over the years, including members of the British royalty, rock stars, soap stars and supermodels.

It is the creation of the British comedy team Monty Pythons who became known for their hilarious, no-holds-barred satires, including one of Jesus Christ in the film “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”, which ends with a chorus of crucified men singing “Always look at the bright side of life”.

It received a record 14 Tony award nominations for the 2004-05 season and won three of them, including best musical.

Bhaskar is known in Britain and India as the host of the television comedy series “The Kumars at No. 42″, a hilarious, Indian-tinged version of the traditional chat show.

In a format that has been copied in the US and other countries, the entire Kumar family, including the grandmother, turns up to interview celebrities with Bhaskar portraying himself as the stereotypical Indian mother’s boy who never quite grows into adulthood.

Bhaskar also co-wrote and starred in the hit television show “Goodness Gracious Me”, which broke new frontiers in British Asian art by lampooning Indian stereotypes.

His other television appearances include “Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee”, “Chopra Town”, “The Way It Is”, “Love Soup” and “Position Impossible”.

He was last on stage in the West End in “Art”, an acclaimed play, and his film appearances include “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom”, “Scoop”, “Anita and Me”, “The Guru”, “Mystic Masseur” and “Notting Hill”.

“Spamalot” has already played to packed audiences in New York, Las Vegas and Melbourne, and Bhaskar’s first performance will be at the Palace Theatre until Jan 3, 2009 before beginning a British tour in April.

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