…And now for something completely different.
Members of the British comedy group ‘Monty Python’ will reunite for a one-off live show next July. According to a press conference given by the comedy legends, the group wants to see if they are “still funny”.
Original members Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones will perform together for the first time in over 30 years.
According to the group, the show’s content will include “some of Monty Python’s greatest hits, with modern, topical, Pythonesque twists”. However, John Cleese has promised that there will also be some new material.
‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, a surreal, DaDa inspired comedy sketch show, first hit British screens in 1969 and remained extremely popular with audiences until it ended in 1974. The show acted as the voice of a new generation, with a fresh approach to comedy and an irreverent, sometimes controversial, edge. Many of the group’s most famous sketches have become treasured parts of British popular culture.
The group released their first feature film ‘And Now For Something Completely Different’ in 1971, but it wasn’t until 1974’s ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ that they filmed an entire movie of new material. The film is an enduring comedy classic, as is its sequel, the controversial ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ (1979). The group’s third feature film ‘Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life’ (1983) was a jet black comedy that was closer in style to the sketch show format of the series, but did not fare as well critically or commercially, despite garnering strong fan support.
In 1989, founding member Graham Chapman sadly passed away from cancer, which put any future reunions in jeopardy.
Following Chapman’s untimely passing, Eric Idle famously stated, “We would only do a reunion if Chapman came back from the dead. So we’re negotiating with his agent.”
Since then, the Pythons have occasionally reformed, with the shows usually featuring an urn containing the ‘ashes’ of Chapman (in reality, his ashes were scattered on Mount Snowdon, Wales by his partner David Sherlock). The urn was, in one instance ‘accidentally’ knocked over on stage before being vacuumed up with a Dust Buster.
The new show is going to feature classic sketches that have never been performed live. Idle, who is also the show’s director, has said that it is going to resemble “a huge musical” in style, whilst John Cleese warned, “The main danger we have is that the audience know the scripts better than we do.”
During the aforementioned press conference, Michael Palin stated that the group “still enjoy getting together to be very silly”.
“After you turn 70, you can be absolutely shameless,” joked Terry Gilliam.
Prior to this news, the troupe’s most recent live performance took place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in September 1980, but it has been 40 years since the Pythons last performed on stage in the UK.
The most expensive tickets have been announced at £95, but the cheapest seats will costs just £26.50, with Idle quipping that it was “only £300 cheaper than The Stones”
“I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!” said Terry Jones.
The show will also be made available on DVD & Blu Ray later in the year.