It came as a bolt from the blue, but one of the UK’s most-loved comedy troupes are set to reunite before audiences in the West End. The surviving stars of Monty Python’s Flying Circus – John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones – are set to get back together for a short spell at theatres in front of thousands of nostalgic fans.
Opinion is split between fans that grew up watching their eponymous BBC sketch show and three subsequent films, but they’ve already gained plenty of column inches. The likelihood is that ticket sales in box offices are set to go in the same direction, with bookmakers predicting that previous West End records are likely to get smashed following their announcement.
Return to form?
Since their heyday in the 1970’s, the Python team have gone their separate ways, all achieving success either in film, on TV or in literature. However, the odds of their stage show breaking West End ticket sales records set by Oliver! are just 6/4, while they’re just 2/1 to work on a new film together before the end of next year.
About what their reunion could eventually lead to, Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “It’s looking an odds-on certainty that Python fans the world over scramble for tickets like never before. While a new series looks beyond reach, we cannot rule out the prospects of a comeback film either.”
Back where it all began
The odds of a return to the small screen are even shorter for the quintet; the price for a one-off TV special is just 1/5. As for a new series, the odds are a little longer at 20/1, while the stage show is just 4/1 to win a Tony award. For now, all eyes will be on the stage show and whether or not it will be a critical success.
Reuniting after so many years apart seems risky, especially given that each Python has had success ever since they initially decided to break up. Also, some sceptics may feel that the chemistry between them might be gone, partly owing to their advancing years and time away from playing in front of an audience or camera.