Alan Dale, star of Neighbours, The OC and Ugly Betty, will don the West End’s meatiest crown when he joins the cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot on 3 March. Dale replaces Peter Davison, who performs the royal role for the final time on 1 March. Dale is likely to star alongside an unknown Swedish Lady Of The Lake. The search for a Scandinavian star is currently running on Swedish television, with the winner taking the role of the soggy songstress in February.
Dale found British fame in the 1980s, playing Jim Robinson in Australian soap opera Neighbours during the halcyon days that gave the world Kylie Minogue and fellow musical theatre star Jason Donovan. Having left the show after eight years in 1993, Dale forged a successful career in America, starring in hit television series including The OC, 24 and Ugly Betty.
Most recently Dale has been filming on this side of the Atlantic. He will appear opposite West End favourite John Barrowman in the current series of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, and with Catherine McCormack and James Nesbitt in ITV drama Midnight Man. He will also be seen in the new Indiana Jones adventure, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Skull.
Dale becomes the fourth actor to lead the cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot as the musical monarch, following Davison, Simon Russell Beale and original King Arthur Tim Curry. Based on Monty Python And The Holy Grail, the musical follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on a mission from God in which they encounter some of Monty Python’s most memorable characters.
The London production opened at the Palace in October 2006, receiving seven Laurence Olivier Award nominations in 2007. Monty Python’s Spamalot, which currently stars Davison, Marin Mazzie, Robert Hands, Steven Kynman, Graham McDuff, Andrew Spillett, Tony Timberlake and Jake Nightingale, is booking until 27 September. em>MA