|Jim Snideman (far right) as Sir Bedevere, explaining his prototype Trojan Rabbit|
Jim Snideman is a Renaissance Man. Not only does he have many years of experience as a Michigan Renaissance Festival actor, Jim is also a jack-of-all-trades and a self-proclaimed “inventor/tinkerer.” Jim brings his comedy toolkit to create several crazy characters in Monty Python’s Spamalot, and he employs his tinkerer talents both onstage and off at the Farmington Players Barn Theater.
In Spamalot, Jim’s primary role is Sir Bedevere, who is “The Royal Inventor”. Bedevere is the brains behind the knights’ secret weapon, the Trojan Rabbit. As Jim says, “I am the ‘inventor/tinkerer/actor’ playing the part of the ‘inventor/tinkerer.’” (Behind the scenes, Jim developed a removable head for one of the knights to wear when she gets “decapitated.”) Jim’s model for Bedevere comes from his Ren Fest days: a character called Leonardo K’tel de Popiel, who was coincidentally known as “The Royal Inventor.” As Jim says, “I needed to construct devices that could be made of (somewhat) period technology. I towed a cylindrical grindstone on a string about the shire as a pet called ‘Nozetew’. A slingshotish Y-shaped stick and a strap of leather became a ‘Frog Strangler’. A leftover bathroom tissue core became the show closing ‘Der Der Tube’. (Place it to your lips and shout “DER-DER-DER…DER-DERRRRR!”).” Jim aptly describes Spamalot as “essentially a Ren Fest show, without the dust and blotto audience members.”
Jim’s secondary roles in Spamalot include Mother Galahad, who he calls “a delightfully crusty old crone who revives another of my Ren Fest characters, Lady Uglita OhDyumme” and Concorde, the faithful and trusty companion / horse of Sir Lancelot. While Jim finds Spamalot’s choreography challenging (“I played offensive line in high school. No fancy footwork. Just move directly forward and bulldoze ‘em out of the way”), he has taken up the dancing gauntlet with grace and good humor. Jim knows that Monty Python fans will enjoy Spamalot as a silly “wooden rabbit era escape from the realities of 21st century life. Dedicated Python fans will be quoting lines from the many references, singing along, nudge-nudging, wink-winking and saying no more.”
Jim lives in Commerce Township and his offstage interests include “tinkering with scale models, a love of all things scientific, and theatre and film production, from both sides of the stage/camera."
Monty Python’s SPAMALOT has 12 performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater from April 28 – May 21. The show is proudly sponsored by TruVista Wealth Management. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.