Monty Python to reunite for stage show

Tuesday 19th November 2013, 9:49am

Image shows from L to R: John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin.21st November Update: Monty Python Live, a one off 'greatest hits' show, was announced at the official press conference. It will take place at the O2 Arena on the 1st July 2014. Details

The surviving members of Monty Python are to reform for a new stage show.

John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin will all appear in the new production.

Full details are officially due to be announced at a press conference set for Thursday lunchtime, however Jones confirmed to the BBC today: "We're getting together and putting on a show - it's real."

He added: "I'm quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!"

Speculation that the group were due to announce a major and significant new project has been rife since Idle tweeted that a Python-related announcement was set for Thursday. In his latest update today, he tweeted: "Python meeting this morning. Can't wait. Press Conference Thursday will apparently be live on Sky News. I'll get you the online URL."

This will be the group's first major comedy project since the 1983 film Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life. It is highly significant news, as Monty Python are widely regarded worldwide as amongst British comedy's most talented and influential comedians, both individually and collectively.

The 1969 - 1974 TV sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus effectively waved in a new era of sketch comedy, and all the members of the group have created and starred in a number of notable British comedy productions individually. Monty Python's Life Of Brian, the troupe's controversial 1979 film, regularly appears at the top of lists counting down the funniest films ever made.

Graham Chapman, the sixth member of the comedy troupe, died in 1989. The last time the five remaining members of the iconic comedy group performed together was in 1998 at the Aspen Comedy Festival, at which they accidentally spilled the 'ashes' of Chapman over the stage.

However, since then Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin have publicly met a number of times for promotional reasons. Most recently, earlier this year they took part in The Meaning Of Monty Python, a TV broadcast discussion to mark the 30th anniversary of The Meaning Of Life. However, in this case Idle was appearing via video link.

As reported by BCG on Saturday, Michael Palin and Terry Jones have been working together again in recent weeks to film new scenes for a DVD release of their 1969 sketch show The Complete And Utter History Of Britain.

The press conference on Thursday will take place at the venue where Monty Python's Spamalot is currently running, leading to speculation the new show will also be performed at The Palace Theatre in London's West End.

Spamalot, which is based on the group's 1974 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail has been a huge hit, but does not star the Pythons themselves. Launched in 2005, the stage format has made tens of millions around the world.

The stage show, devised by Idle, has proved controversial however. Earlier this year the original film's producer, Mork Forstater, won a High Court case in regards to the royalty rights to the production.

Below is a video extract from The Meaning Of Monty Python in which the comedians talk about 'The Meaning of Life, comedy, fish and their own mortality'.

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