On July 15th there was a parrot sighting at Potters Field Park in London; but this wasn’t just any avian, it was a 50 foot Norwegian blue. The ornithological oddity wasn’t the product of science run amok or a pending birdnado, rather it was an homage to the four decade long partnership of Monty Python, sketch comedy’s terrifically twisted troupe and heralded their return to the stage (and quite likely their last…).
As the Python crew is getting on in years – they’re all septuagenarians – they obviously decided that doing a worldwide tour would be a bit too much (although Jagger still manages to get around) and opted to do a live show that would be shown in theaters around the globe (hence the mostly). From the opening sequence - an irreverent nod to fallen cast member Graham Chapman, One Down, Five to Go is classic Python featuring live versions of classics like Spam, Dead Parrot and I’m a Lumberjack sprinkled with footage of sketches from the TV show and movies. But it’s not all old hat.
New features include a slickly choreographed Minister of Silly Walks number, Vaginas and Bottoms to accompany The Penis Song and an updated and even more politically incorrect version of I Like Chinese all performed with orchestral accompaniment. And skits like The Four Yorkshiremen, where they sit around and try to top one another’s ridiculous hard luck stories, also seem to fit the group much better now that they’ve matured (well, at least chronologically…) .
Some of the show’s best moments however are the spontaneous ones, such as when cast members forget their lines or struggle to compose themselves. And they don’t skimp on material here: even when you discount the half hour intermission, this mirth filled marathon runs about two and a half hours.
Hilarious, and engaging, One Down Five to Go is a must-see for Python fans and will no doubt create a new legions of fans who are dragged to see it. Just remember to forgive everyone around you who is saying the dialogue and singing the songs, and look on the bright side of life...