Monty Python Live (Mostly)

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Monty Python Live (mostly)
The opening of the first reunion performance.
Company Monty Python
Genre Comedy
Show type Sketch Show, Musical
Date of premiere July 1, 2014 (2014-07-01)
Final show July 20, 2014 (2014-07-20)
Location The O₂, London
Creative team
Written and Conceived By
Other information
Slogan "One Down, Five to Go"
Official website

Monty Python Live (mostly) (also billed as Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five To Go[1]) was a stage show by the Monty Python comedy group in the The O₂ in London in July 2014. The DVD is dedicated to Robin Williams.

Overview[edit]

In 2013, the Pythons lost a legal case to Mark Forstater, the producer of their film Holy Grail, over royalties for the derivative work Spamalot. They owed a combined £800,000 in legal fees and back royalties to Forstater. To pay these, a reunion show was therefore proposed.[2] It soon become apparent to the group that owing to his theatrical experience with the creation of Spamalot (and because his schedule was free), Eric Idle was best suited to supervise the production. He envisaged an extensive assembly of the most well-known Python sketches; to facilitate costume changes, they would be linked by short video clips and elaborate routines of the troupe's songs.[3] The latter would be performed by a full chorus line, choreographed by Arlene Phillips.[4] The music was to be arranged and conducted by Idle's long-time collaborator, John Du Prez.[5]

The ten stage shows were held on 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 and 15, 16, 18, 19 & 20 July 2014.[citation needed] The first night of the show sold out in 45 seconds of being available to purchase.

All five surviving Pythons performed on stage together for the first time in 34 years, with archive footages of Graham Chapman interspersed throughout the show. The three-hour show had a 30-minute intermission. Some of the sketches were updated to include contemporary references.[6] Carol Cleveland, who appeared in many of the original TV episodes, assisted by playing additional characters, as did newcomer Samuel Holmes, who was given several lead roles, some of which were originally played by Chapman. Eddie Izzard made a small guest appearance as a 'Bruce' on the final night, as well as having appeared the previous evening as the 'Blackmail' special guest. There were also surprise cameos by (amongst others) Stephen Fry, Mike Myers, and Professors Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking.

The last of the ten performances was broadcast in England on Gold TV and internationally in cinemas by Fathom Events through a Dish Network satellite link on Sunday, July 20, 2014.[1][7] The filming of the performance was directed by Aubrey Powell.

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reviews of the show were generally positive.

The negatively-tinged review from the Daily Mail[8] was incorporated into the last show with John Cleese referencing the newspaper's editor, Paul Dacre.[7]

Cast[edit]

The Pythons[edit]

Also featuring[edit]

Special Guests (in the 'Blackmail' sketch)[edit]

Cameos (pre-recorded)

  • Professor Brian Cox
  • Professor Stephen Hawking (In the July 20 show, Hawking is seen in the audience following his recorded appearance.)

Sketches and songs[edit]

According to Dominic Cavendish at The Telegraph[9]

Act One[edit]

Act Two[edit]

There were also animations by Terry Gilliam between sketches.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Global finale for Monty Python show on stage and in cinemas". BBC. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "John Cleese: Monty Python reunion is happening because of my £800,000 legal bill". Daily Mirror. May 23, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-28. Last July, the Pythons lost a royalties case to Mark Forstater, who produced 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. ... 
  3. ^ Cleese, John (2014). So Anyway... Random House. 
  4. ^ "Arlene Phillips wants John Cleese to stretch himself for Monty Python reunion". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Monty Python Live (Mostly) review - Parrot fashion and no bad thing for that". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight". NPR. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Monty Python live (mostly), review: poignant and predictable, but tremendous fun". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "So are the surviving Monty Pythons just flogging a (dead) parrot?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Dominic Cavendish. "The almost-definitive guide to Monty Python Live (Mostly)". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 

External links[edit]