Lumberjacks will sing, dead parrots will be returned and no-one will expect the Spanish Inquisition (probably) when comedy icons Monty Python reunite for a one-off live show at the 02 Arena in 2014.
The single night of laughter on 1 July, which will include sketches never before performed by the Python team in a live show, will be the first time the comic quintet – John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin – have performed a stage show together in more than 30 years. Their last live outing came at the Hollywood Bowl in 1980.
Directed by Idle and featuring choreography by Arlene Phillips, the reunion, the director promised, would be a spectacle that would include musical numbers, dancers and giant versions of Gilliam’s famous animations.
The sixth Python, Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, will also be part of the new show, Idle promised journalists at the launch held at the home of hit Python-based musical Spamalot, the Playhouse theatre.
The one-off engagement at the vast concert space marks the first time in 40 years that the ground-breaking comedians have performed a theatrical show together in the UK.
First aired in 1969, Monty Python’s Flying Circus is one of the world’s most influential comedy shows. Together the team filmed 45 episodes over four series for the BBC and three films, Life Of Brian, The Meaning Of Life and Monty Python And The Holy Grail, on which Spamlot is based.
For Python fans who need a live dose of their famous humour before next summer, Spamalot, which tells of King Arthur and his mission from God, currently stars former Shrek The Musical and Legally Blonde The Musical star Carley Stenson. From 2 December she will be joined by children’s TV favourites Dick and Dom, who will play the royal lead and his sidekick Patsy.