Monty Python land in Melbourne (cinemas) and Gilliam says they’re better
Monty Python promised the last night of their London show will be their last ever live performance together. You can see it at Cinema Nova, Palace Cinemas, and Village Cinemas. Resist shouting out punchlines, okay?
We spoke to Terry Gilliam prior to the run and he promised that Australian cinema-goers would see “pretty much what people see who are there, but probably closer and more in focus.
“I would hate to be the people sitting in the very far end of the O2 Arena when we’re performing. I think the people watching it in the cinema are going to get a better show.”
As for what is in the show? “Well we’re doing our big hits: Satisfaction, Brown Sugar, all of those. We’re hoping they’ll still play.”
The joke is apt. While one critic in Sydney was overheard post media screening complaining that they only laughed four or five times (sour puss!), and the original reviews complained it was tired. But when it comes to Python performing jokes that are more than four decades old, the point isn’t to get new laughs, but to embrace, if not worship, the familiar genius.
They really are the Rolling Stones of comedy and we don’t want them to play anything but the classics.
“The show is basically structured on the original show we used to do,” confirms Gilliam, “with a lot of rearranging because Graham [Chapman] is still not available for the show no matter how hard we’ve tried to reassemble his ashes – they just don’t stick together properly!”
There is also some new material, including a few quips at each other’s expense – Cleese’s marriages, Palin’s travels – as well as new songs by Eric Idle.
“Eric has been rehearsing some singers and dancers to fill in the gaps when we keel over on stage and need medical attention.”
Thankfully they all survived and the live shows were a huge success, earning each member a reported £2 million which should more than cover the £800,000 legal bill that John Cleese claimed prompted the show in the first place, the result of a long-running battle over Holy Grail royalties.
“It’s amazing how financial disaster can breed creative brilliance,” confirms Gilliam. “It was so unlikely that Python would get together again because none of us really though it would happen until a disaster occurred and brought us together.”
So give thanks for the lawyers and gather at your local place of cinematic worship to celebrate the truly (un)holy comedy of Monty Python.