JOHN CLEESE

Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five To Go: The 02 Arena, London, 2014

John Cleese is one of the founder members of the surreal comedy group Monty Python.  The group wrote and performed in forty-five episodes of the iconic sketch comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, created spin-off films, albums, books, with Cleese producing an all-time classic TV sitcom Fawlty Towers and other film projects. In 2014, it was announced that because of a legal case involving film royalties, the group would reunite for a live one-off stage show at the O2 Arena in London.  One-off turned into ten nights and I snapped up a ticket.

Dedicated to Cleese’s writing partner and Python member the late Graham Chapman, the show featured classic routines live on stage and screen as well as new material.  The live performance demonstrated the group’s massive popular impact as fans memorised every word, enthusiastically sang along, roaring with approval the instant  each classic bit was recognised.  One of Cleese’s most popular routines The Parrot Sketch which also features Michael Palin was of course performed live and included classic corpsing by Cleese when Palin fluffed his lines.

The team were a lot older but still extremely funny; Cleese played a massive contribution to the show’s success and the warmth from the audience for this comic giant and the rest of the group was immense.  It was a very enjoyable evening.

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