IT’S like father like son for Spamalot star Joe Tracini.
The actor is coming to the Sunderland Empire alongside his dad Joe Pasquale in the musical comedy.
The show, penned by South Shields-born Monty Python star Eric Idle, is billed as being lovingly ripped off from the comedy troupe’s film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Joe, 26, is starring as Patsy, the dopey manservant of his father’s character, King Arthur, who embarks on a quest to find the coveted Holy Grail.
The show runs at the Sunderland Empire from Monday, May 18 to Saturday, May 23.
Joe, best known for his role as Dennis Savage in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, is set to take over from Todd Carty as Patsy on May 11.
He said: “I’m absolutely loving it. The show has been running since January and I’ve been following it round for a couple of weeks now.
“It’s a great show and I’ve always wanted to do a musical and to be doing this one is just brilliant.
“It’s my first time working with my dad professionally too. When I was growing up, I used to travel around the theatres with him and we’ve done the odd thing together, but this is the first time professionally.
“Coming into a show after it’s been running for a while can feel like the first day at school, when you feel all sweaty and nervous, but at least I’ve got my dad there with me.
“I get to sing the famous song, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life too, and it’s really, really exciting.
“I’ve been listening to it on repeat, I must have heard it hundreds of times now.
“It’s a funny song because everyone thinks they know the words to it – even me – but when you actually hear it, you realise you don’t.
“My character doesn’t really speak much, so when he gets to sing that song, it’s really his moment, and I feel really lucky that I’ve been trusted with it.”
I’m very excited about coming to Sunderland because I’ve never been before but I’ve heard the people are really friendly so I can’t wait to get there.Joe Tracini
Joe admits that he’s always been an avid Python fan.
He said: “When I was growing up, I used to make videos all the time, and I’d sometimes manage to rope my friends and family members into it, but they’d get bored a lot quicker than I would.
“I started making these comedy videos with one of my cousins in my bedroom all of the time, and one day he showed me the dead parrot sketch and suggested we did that.
“After that, all I did was sit in my bedroom remaking Monty Python sketches, so I feel very lucky that I’m now getting the chance to be in this show.”
He added: “I’ve seen a few of the different casts in this show over the years and this one is new and fresh and they’re just doing a brilliant job with it.
“I’m very excited about coming to Sunderland because I’ve never been before but I’ve heard the people are really friendly so I can’t wait to get there.”
Spamalot runs from Monday, May 18 to Saturday, May 23. Tickets cost from £16.40. To book, go to www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland or call the box office on 0844 871 3022.
•We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the opening night show at 7.30pm.
To be in with a chance of winning, just tell us the relationship between Joe Tracini and Joe Pasquale.
Fill out the coupon and send it to Vicki Newman, Spamalot, Shields Gazette, 2nd Floor, Alexander House, 1 Mandarin Road, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton, DH4 5RA.