Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Python Festival? Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Say No More

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Python Festival? Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Say No More

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Tully

AND now for something completely Hexham.

The Tyne Valley town is holding its first ever Monty Python festival with two of their films being shown at the Forum Cinema alongside a performance of a play about the 1970s comedy troupe.

No Naughty Bits is a courtroom drama recalling the real-life battle between American censors and the Python lawyers to get the off-beat British comedy sketches onto US TV four decades ago.

It will be performed by the Mike Fry Foundation, a drama group set up in honour of a much-loved teacher at Haydon Bridge High School who died of brain cancer and a stroke in 2009.

Essex man Mike, who was in his late fifties when he was struck down, made such an impression with his pupils that a year ago they set up the Mike Fry Foundation in his memory.

As well as putting on the new Steve Thompson play in Hexham's Monty Python Festival in the first week of May, they will also take No Naughty Bits to Mr Fry's first school, Belfairs, in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend, a week later.

"Mike was a big Monty Python fan," said Graham Lindup of the Mike Fry Foundation, "and it is in part by way of tribute to him that we are doing this.

"As well as performing No Naughty Bits at the Monty Python Festival at the Forum in Hexham on May 4, we are also touring it to Essex on May 12.

"Mike taught at Belfairs School in Leigh-on-Sea for 15 or 16 years before coming to Haydon Bridge and they have set up the Mike Fry Studio Theatre within their school.

"It's a wonderful theatre - they've spent a lot of money on it - and I went down for the grand opening when I introduced to the people down there what we're doing up here.

"Now, as the first amateur group in the UK to put on No Naughty Bits, we are delighted to be able to go back to Mike's first school to put on our play. …

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