I have to admit that I wasn’t old enough to see Monty Python when they were first shown on TV (Not the Nine o’Clock News was more my era) but I have watched them repeatedly since then along with the films.
When it was announced that the five remaining members where reuniting for a series of shows in London I knew that I wanted to get tickets. Unfortunately so did many, many others and the first round were gone in 43 seconds but to to me. So when the next tranche were released I tried again and could have got tickets but they were too expensive for my pocket and I passed.
Sometimes though things work out and I was lucky enough to be invited along with Helen by a colleague who was going with his brother and had a couple of spare tickets. Actually this was better than a couple of tickets as it was also in a corporate box!
I hadn’t been to the Dome for 14 years so it was interesting to be back and what a transformation! It’s a really great space – pity it is the wrong side of London for us.
The five remaining members (Cleese, Idle, Gilliam, Jones and Palin) stepped out to much applause at 19:30 and over the next couple of hours went through all their favourites including the Cheese Shop, Australian Philosophy Department, Gumby Flower Arranging and, of course, the Dead Parrot. Between each sketch to give time for costume changes and the members to get their breath back there was a music number sometimes with Eric Idle singing his heart out and other times by a dance troupe.
On several giant screen between sketches we were treated to the best of Terry Gilliam’s work which looks as fresh and inventive today as it did when it first came out. I would buy a DVD of his animation should anyone be thinking of producing one.
Given that they are all in their seventies there was inevitably going to be some forgotten lines but the only one who seems to have any issues was Jones who during one sketch had to be prompted several times and loudly by Cleese, much to the latter’s amusement. All the other seemed pretty spritely.
No matter what they did the Pythons weren’t going to go wrong with such a partisan audience and I came away having throughly enjoyed the event as did all the others we were with.
The following night, the last night of the run, was televised and we watched the first ten minutes but it just wasn’t the same and some of the show was just too risqué for TV (Penis Song (the Not Noel Coward Song) – for example!). I’m really glad that we got the opportunity to go and see them live. Thanks Andy!