Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 10, 2008

Ben Davis – “Spamalot’s” Sir Galahad – speaks about hair & other issues

One of the featured actors in the Bushnell’s “Spamalot” (starts September 4) is Ben Davis. He’s young, talented, and already a Broadway star. In multi-roles, including the Black Knight and Prince Herbert’s dad, Davis’ primary role is Sir Dennis Galahad. [Bet you didn’t know that he had a first name.] The following is a paraphrased interview with Davis.

How does Monty Python influence you, the play, and the audience?

I wasn’t bathed in Monty Python when I auditioned. The actors and the audience don’t have to be. The musical was produced brilliantly to appeal to Python fans in particular, but more importantly, to fans of all musicals. There are some scenes straight out of “The Holy Grail,” several of its characters, and sometimes people in the house quote lines right along with the actors. Do you have to be a lover of MP to love “Spamalot”? Absolutely not.

It seems as if the performers are having as much fun onstage as the playgoers.

We are, at every show, in every city. We have a great time, and if you can’t have fun doing this show, then you’re in the wrong business. We don’t do the play by rote. Each audience is different and we feed off and respond to them. They are all ages, and everyone laughs. Although we are professionals, cracking up onstage is not unusual. “Spamalot” is on the edge, it’s purposely outrageous and the audience knows it; they expect the unexpected and that’s what adds to the humor.

You’ve starred in dark dramas (“La Boheme” and “Les Miz”) and fluff. What is your background?

I started as a singer, then became an actor, so now I’m 50% each. I’ve been incredibly blessed. I’ve worked fairly consistently. Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme” was amazing. He directed the movie “Moulin Rouge.” I’ve also been in Kenneth Branagh’s “The Magic Flute.” I love opera and would like to perform more some day. Javert in “Les Miz” on Broadway was something I’m very proud of. Then, there’s “Spamalot,” and the enjoyment of performing comedy is equal to that of drama.

What’s in your future?

I’ve been in “Spamalot” one year now. Theatre is exciting and you don’t know what the next jobs will be. For the long run, I’d hope for health and happiness. In the immediate future, I’d hope that the safety pins continue to hold my very long Sir Galahad wig in place. It’s fun doing the hair flips.