Swan song for dead parrot? Pythons say reunion will be last

Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:44pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - The dead parrot routine, the Spanish Inquisition and the silly walk will all be performed on stage this week for what the five remaining members of the Monty Python comedy team, all in their 70s, said on Monday will probably be their last reunion.

"Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five to Go" opens at London's cavernous O2 arena on Tuesday for 10 performances with the last one on July 20 to be broadcast worldwide.

In addition to famous Python skits, it will be a fully staged theatrical extravaganza with dancers and an orchestra. It will also feature a filmed appearance by Python Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, and a cameo for British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the Pythons said at a news conference.

The surviving members of the comedy team, which became an international sensation in the 1960s with their quirky comedy programme "Monty Python's Flying Circus", said they did not expect to perform together again on stage - and that is why they are broadcasting the last show.

"When we thought it was going to be the last one, we thought, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful to put it on around the world so it's a world event?'" Eric Idle, who directed the show, said.

"It means that you're actually going to say goodbye publicly on one show and no one has the chance to do that. The Beatles didn't get a last good night and I think that's rather lovely. I think it's dear and sweet and gracious and I'm very grateful that that's come to be," Idle said at a London theatre.

He and fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam sat at a long table with a screen behind them showing a graveyard with a tombstone engraved "G Chapman".

Before they came on stage, a video clip was shown featuring Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who is also in his 70s, wondering - tongue in cheek - why anyone would want to see a comedy team that old.   Continued...

Members of British comedy troupe Monty Python (L-R) Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones pose for a photograph during a media event in central London, June 30, 2014.   REUTERS/Paul Hackett