Monty Python Live (Mostly)
|Monty Python Live (mostly)|
The opening of the first reunion performance.
|Show type||Sketch Show, Musical|
|Date of premiere||July 1, 2014|
|Final show||July 20, 2014|
|Location||The O₂, London|
|Written and Conceived By|
|Slogan||"One Down, Five to Go"|
Monty Python Live (mostly) (also billed as Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five To Go) 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.
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. 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. The latter would be performed by a full chorus line, choreographed by Arlene Phillips. The music was to be arranged and conducted by Idle's long-time collaborator, John Du Prez.
The ten stage shows were held on 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 and 15, 16, 18, 19 & 20 July 2014. 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. 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. The filming of the performance was directed by Aubrey Powell.
Critical reviews of the show were generally positive.
- Carol Cleveland
- Samuel Holmes
Special Guests (in the 'Blackmail' sketch)
- Stephen Fry - on the July 1 show
- Lee Mack - on the July 2 show
- Bill Bailey - on the July 3 show
- Noel Fielding - on the July 4 show
- Matt Lucas - on the July 5 show
- Warwick Davis - on the July 15 show
- Simon Pegg - on the July 16 show
- David Walliams - on the July 18 show
- Eddie Izzard - on the July 19 show (also appearing as a celebrity 'Bruce' on July 20)
- Mike Myers - on the July 20 show
- Professor Brian Cox
- Professor Stephen Hawking (In the July 20 show, Hawking is seen in the audience following his recorded appearance.)
Sketches and songs
According to Dominic Cavendish at The Telegraph
- Opening Sequence
- Four Yorkshiremen
- Flying Mouth (animation)
- The Fish-Slapping Dance (video)
- World War Fish (animation)
- Not The Noël Coward Song - expanded with a vagina verse and a bum verse
- The Naval Medley/Ypres 1914
- Colonel Stopping It (video)
- Batley Townswomen's Guild Presents the Battle of Pearl Harbour (video)
- David's Fig Leaf (animation)
- The Last Supper
- Every Sperm Is Sacred
- Protestant Couple
- God Complaining About The Show (redubbing from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
- Silly Olympics (on screen video from Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl)
- Vocational Guidance Counsellor
- The Lumberjack Song
- Charles Atlas-Dynamic Tension (animation)
- The Philosophers' Football Match- First Half (on screen video from the 2nd Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus episode)
- Bruces' Philosophers Song
- The Philosophers' Football Match- Second Half (on screen)
- Crunchy Frog
- Blood, Devastation, Death, War And Horror
- I Like Chinese
- Spam Lake (dance routine)
- Sit on My Face
- The Death Of Mary Queen Of Scots
- Penguin On The Television
- Gumby Flower Arranging
- Camp Judges
- Full Frontal Nudity (animation)
- Nudge Nudge
- Nudge Rap/Blackmail (dance routine)
- Miss Anne Elk
- Conrad Poohs and his Dancing Teeth (animation)
- Spanish Inquisition
- The Galaxy Song
- Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking
- Venus / Portrait People Dancing (animation)
- The Silly Walk Song (dance routine)
- Argument Clinic
- I've Got Two Legs
- Spam / Finland
- Pet Shop / Cheese Shop / Come Back To My Place
- The Exploding Version of the Blue Danube (on screen)
- The Lady Eating Pram / Musical Statues (animation)
- Christmas In Heaven
- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life as an encore.
There were also animations by Terry Gilliam between sketches.
- "Global finale for Monty Python show on stage and in cinemas". BBC. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "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. ...
- Cleese, John (2014). So Anyway... Random House.
- "Arlene Phillips wants John Cleese to stretch himself for Monty Python reunion". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Monty Python Live (Mostly) review - Parrot fashion and no bad thing for that". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- "At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight". NPR. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "Monty Python live (mostly), review: poignant and predictable, but tremendous fun". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "So are the surviving Monty Pythons just flogging a (dead) parrot?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- Dominic Cavendish. "The almost-definitive guide to Monty Python Live (Mostly)". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
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