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Swedish waitress becomes West End Star

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 3 July 2008

Monty Python’s Spamalot has cast its Swedish Lady of the Lake. On 2 February, Nina Söderquist, from Hälsingland, Sweden, won West End Star, the reality television contest on Swedish television channel TV3, to become the new Lady of the Lake at London’s Palace theatre.

The 35-year-old, a waitress and Lieutenant in the Swedish army, beat off competition from fellow finalist Linda Holmgren in the live final on Saturday. The pair, along with three others, had been battling it out each weekend in a series of live shows in Sweden, while rehearsing during the week in London with the cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot and current Lady of the Lake Marin Mazzie.

Söderquist said winning the chance to perform in the West End was “a dream come true”, though before entering West End Star she had never sung a song from a musical. “I had only ever seen one musical my life – Cats, as a teenager on a school trip to London,” she said. “My co-finalists and I have had an incredible journey – from our first auditions back in September to rehearsing at London’s Palace theatre with the amazing Spamalot company. My family and friends will be here for opening night and hopefully all the TV viewers who voted for me will follow soon after!”

Taking over from Mazzie on 11 February, the new Lady of the Lake joins a cast that includes Peter Davison as King Arthur, Robert Hands as Sir Robin, Steven Kynman as Prince Herbert, Graham MacDuff as Sir Dennis Galahad, Andrew Spillet as Patsy, Tony Timberlake as Sir Bedevere and Jake Nightingale as Sir Lancelot. Alan Dale is due to take over as King Arthur from 3 March.

Monty Python’s Spamalot opened at the Palace in October 2006. Written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, the musical is ‘lovingly ripped-off’ from the iconic film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, which follows King Arthur on his quest to find the grail, accompanied by a band of hapless knights. Along the way he encounters many familiar characters, including killer rabbits, flatulent Frenchmen and the Knights who say Ni.

CB

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