Medieval mayhem
Medieval mayhem

He's not King Arthur, he's just a very silly boy and he's got company aplenty on this epic journey to Jestersville. On top of Britons claiming to be reincarnated Arthurs and Camelot theme parks, we now have more medieval magic with an added twist of ludicrous. This latest tilt at a medieval wizard and ermine romp is far too close to being Guinevere does Camelot.

Yes, it's ribald with a capital ridiculous. There's hearty swigging from pewter mugs, merry medieval maids exposing boobs and bums and prithee young gents unbuckling their codpieces at every conceivable turn. Prophesy: it will all end in hysterics.

While Arthurian legends are not just back - they absolutely refuse to go away and leave us alone - you'd be forgiven for thinking second time around the table things might look more promising at court for Arthur. Blonde Tamsin Egerton as the new Guinevere says this version of Camelot is for adult audiences and has a much bigger budget than Merlin.

However, it is nowhere near as cohesive, comprehensible, comic (not intentionally) or credible as Ten's hit series. Egerton is probably best known as Chelsea Parker in the St Trinian's films. There's been a bit of a medieval theme running through her career: she was cast in 2001 as the young Morgaine in The Mists of Avalon and the next year was in the children's TV show Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land. She makes little of this fact. She makes more of her role.

"It was an amazing, all-encompassing six months in a very much male-orientated cast," says the 22-year-old former model.

"It was fun to go with the guys and learn how to horseride and discover all the Irish pubs together and do sword fights.

"There was a fantastic cast and playing Guinevere which was such an iconic role. It was a little girl dream part to play. I was living on cloud nine for the first six months." One of "the guys" she refers to is childhood friend since the age of eight, Jamie Campbell Bower, who has a lovely tousled blond look as Arthur. It made Egerton's fictional hens' night offering herself to him (in the surf no less) rather easier, she says.

Joseph Fiennes makes a very odd Merlin who plays nanny to his King Arthur and James Purefoy plays King Lot. These more heavyweight actors don't pack a big enough punch to make up for the confusion that reigns in this Camelot. Egerton has a reason for this.

"This is very much more real people making mistakes," she says. "Guinevere is the kind of girl on the verge of her adult life and she does make really big life mistakes.

"Then, of course, she has to deal with them. I love to think it makes her more vulnerable, more realistic and far more of a complex character. But it was very hard reading the scripts knowing where my character was going."

As for Egerton, she rather thinks all this galloping in velvet robes across Ireland has to come to an end - and not just because no one wants to see any more of it. "Hollywood," she says. "That's where I see myself."

"Guinevere is the kind of girl on the verge of her adult life and she does make really big life mistakes. Then, of course, she has to deal with them."

Camelot airs Sunday at 9.30pm on Nine/WIN.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West