Theatre

5 things to look forward to at Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five to Go

Monday night saw the opening of the most hotly anticipated comedy residency of all time, as Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five to Go began its run of 10 nights at London’s O2 Arena.

For all those of you who are eagerly awaiting your turn to see the comedy giants, we present five things to look forward to about the live shows.

The songs
Monty Python’s musical offerings have always been of the highest calibre and the live renditions are no exception. Firm favourites including Michael Palin’s delivery of the Lumberjack Song and Eric Idle’s Every Sperm is Scared, complete with suggestively shaped confetti cannons, are all present and go down exceptionally well, accompanied by dancers, who have been choreographed by Strictly’s Arlene Philips.

The songs capture the Python energy and humour, which has more recently been showcased in their smash hit musical Spamalot, and by the time the musical finale sets in, you’ll be hard pressed not to join in with the sing-along.

The costumes
With the amount of characters and sketches portrayed during the show it’s no wonder that the show has such an array of costumes. Changes are enjoyable thanks to classic footage and musical interludes, and with outfits ranging from bespoke Agent Provocateur to a shabby brown overcoat worn by a certain pet shop owner, there’s always something to hold your attention in the wardrobe department.

The greatest hits
It’s a testament to the lasting power of the Python’s sketches and the dedication of their fans that the majority of the audience seem to know which sketch is coming far in advance of their delivery. It only takes a costume or a single line of dialogue to whip the audience into a titter of anticipation as they wait for the scene to play out, with all-time favourites such as the Argument and Nudge Nudge sketches in particular very warmly received before they even begin.

Die-hard Python fans will love the indulgent sense of community amongst the fans, whereas relative newcomers are in for as treat as they get to experience them for the first time.

The cameos
Ever since Mick Jagger introduced the Pythons at their press conference it became pretty clear that there would be some familiar faces popping up during the residency. A film cameo from Stephen Hawking is a highlight, but with the rumour mill in overdrive about live appearances each night, you never know who you might get to see!

The icons
Of course the main draw of these shows is simply to see the Pythons themselves. Even without their own assurance, with a combined age of 357, it’s obvious that this could be the last time they ever perform as an (almost) complete troupe and it’s this that caused their first night to sell out in just 40 seconds.

There’s no question that the Pythons are one of the most influential and seminal comedy forces of all time and it’s simply the opportunity to see these iconic performers brought together for one last time that will leave you feeling that you’ve just witnessed history.

The Pythons are currently playing run of dates at the O2 Arena, London, ending July 20 – full details and tickets are available here. Don’t miss out!

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