Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pythons Power Past 40 Years on; Comedy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pythons Power Past 40 Years on; Comedy

Article excerpt

Byline: BRUCE DESSAU

NOT THE MESSIAH Albert Hall, SW7 AND now for something slightly different. Having conquered the stage with Spamalot Eric Idle returned to London on Friday to mark Monty Python's fortieth birthday with more musical back catalogue-milking, this time reviving his oratorio inspired by The Life of Brian, aided by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and all of his surviving colleagues except John Cleese. Not the Full Monty then, but oddly entertaining, from the bombastic opening theme courtesy of Sousa to the Lumberjack Song encore, courtesy of Michael Palin.

In fact it was comedy's nicest man who stole the proceedings with numerous cameos. One felt sorry for the impeccably skilled singers, Shannon Mercer, William Ferguson, Rosalind Plowright and Christopher Purves, regularly upstaged by passing Pythons.

Palin donned a toga to recreate his lisping Pontius Pilate, Terry Jones sported a miner's helmet for the stirring pitmen parody Take Us Home and Terry Gilliam got a hero's welcome for merely intoning "I'm Not" in response to the chorus of "We're all individuals. …

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