Saturday, 26 July 2014

Last Night Of The Pythons

Monty Python Live (mostly)
O2 Arena, London
A short time ago, it would have been a strange dream indeed to imagine having the opportunity to see Monty Python reunited and on the stage once more. Yet an announcement of a series of live dates came out of the blue, with the first show selling out in 43.5 seconds. I was fortunate to be able to attend the final show of the run, which will almost certainly prove to be the very last chance to see the surviving Pythons performing together.

Reviews of the earlier shows had been mixed, with the song and dance routines coming in for particular criticism. True, they did, perhaps, outstay their welcome and each routine took away stage time from the Pythons themselves, but within the context of an arena event they were largely excusable.

Elsewhere, the material was a fairly predictable set of ''greatest hits'' with the Pythons clearly enjoying the experience just as much as the rest of us. A detailed critical analysis would definitely reveal a significant number of flaws, but I found the best method was to simply sit back and enjoy the entertainment - warts and all.

Here's a few (mostly self-explanatory) photos from the memorable evening.

''The Four Yorkshiremen'' - originally from 1967's At Last the 1948 Show
Showbizzy Eric Idle as Noel Coward 
Song and dance! Mostly highlighting body parts and bodily functions
The late Graham Chapman made the occasional appearance on the big screens
Michael Palin and John Cleese performed various classic two-handers

''I wanted to be...''
''...a lumberjack!''

The Bruces - including Eddie Izzard 
Terry Jones, clearly reading a cue card. John Cleese took it off him! 

No Python show is complete without some ''old women''
Flower arranging - Gumby style (Terry Gilliam!)
Two judges relax after a hard day's work
''Nudge, nudge!''
Tonight's celebrity blackmail victim - Mike Myers

''Nobody expects...''

''I wish to register a complaint!''

Long-time female Python performer Carol Cleveland

The last of the Pythons? Almost certainly. I was delighted to be there to share the farewell.

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