Thursday, 22 August 2013

Michael Palin to Appear as God in London's Spamalot!

Michael Palin to play God: from 26th August 2013

Herewith a Missive: Michael Palin edges Eric Idle out of Spamalot to play the role of God

Michael Palin to appear in person at the curtain call of Monday 26th August's performance

Spamalot extends its current booking period at The Playhouse Theatre to 8th February 2014

Monty Python legend, Michael Palin, has decided to ‘fart in the general direction’ of fellow Python legend, Eric Idle, when he appears as God on stage (on screen) in Monty Python’s Spamalot, for one week, from 26th August 2013 at The Playhouse Theatre to raise money for charity. At the same time, the show has now announced that it is extending its current run until 8th February 2014.

Palin steps into the heavenly robes previously worn by Hugh Bonneville (they actually got the chap from Downton Abbey), Barbara Windsor, Bradley Walsh, Simon Callow and Christopher Biggins, who have also  appeared as God in the show.  They in turn have sent Eric Idle off down the pub throughout the warmer months, as he usually plays the role on screen (and will pop up from time to time when the other Gods are off inventing America).

‘The Summer of Spamalot Charity Gods’ has been created to raise-a-lot of shillings for several charities including Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre, The Make A Wish Foundation, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Scene & Heard, Stage For Age and Keats Community Library which are supported by the actors who are playing God.

Absolutely Hilarious: Monty Python's Spamalot
Michael Palin took time out of his busy schedule (of travelling through a large and extensive forest- or is that a large and expensive forest? - for some TV show or other) to film the part of God, which will be shown during each performance of Spamalot from Monday 26th August until Saturday 31st August. His nominated charity is Action for Stammering Children.

The role of God features in Spamalot when King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table are given their quest to find The Holy Grail.

Sir Howard Panter (says he’s a real Knight! as if), producer of Spamalot for Ambassador Theatre Group, said; “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to bring friends of the show in to the role of God in this way, so that we can help such deserving causes while making audiences laugh at the same time.”

Comedian and actor Les Dennis is currently playing King Arthur, while musical theatre legend and TV star Bonnie Langford plays The Lady of The Lake. Other stars who have appeared as King Arthur include Joe Pasquale, Stephen Tompkinson, Jon Culshaw and Marcus Brigstocke. Warwick Davis joins the cast as Patsy from 23rd September through to 19th October 2013.

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a kind-of new musical with a book by Eric Idle and an entirely new score for the new production, (well, almost) created by Eric Idle and John Du Prez.

Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls, witch burnings (cancelled due to health and safety) not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people. The show features fantastic tunes more magical than a Camelot convention, including He Is Not Dead Yet, Knights of the Round Table, Find Your Grail and of course the Nation’s Favourite Comedy Song (Reader’s Digest Poll 2010 - before it went bust), Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

The new season at The Playhouse, which is directed by Christopher Luscombe, follows Eric Idle’s acclaimed performance of ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’ at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony – the world sang along, and Spamalot audiences get the opportunity to do so too! During the run, there have been 18 onstage moustache incidents, three suspected cases of swine flu (French pigs!), one outbreak of nits and 87 pairs of coconuts used.

What the press have said about the new West End production:
“Former Python Eric Idle has come up with a simpler, shorter and zingier version, which in Christopher Luscombe’s fresh-as-paint production, recalls Monty Python’s roots in undergraduate review. The lady sitting next to me spent most of the show physically helpless with laugher. BOOK YOURSELF A TICKET TO SPAMALOT - IN THESE DARK DAYS IT WILL HELP YOU LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE” – Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
“Just give way to your inner child and laugh a lot!” – The Times
"4 stars & Critics Choice" – Time Out London
“Gloriously British, Eric Idle’s musical returns for a triumphant run” 4 stars & Critics Choice – Evening Standard
“I honestly haven’t laughed so hard and so many times in years” 5 stars - Daily Star Sunday
“A lovely pudding of British silliness topped off with Eric Idle's hilarious songs!” - Magic 105.4
“Lovingly reformed from the classic film, the new Spamalot had the audience in stitches” – Mail on Sunday 
“Spamalot is really great. If you haven’t seen it, go, GO” - Chris Tarrant, BBC Radio 2
Produced by Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group

Listings Information

Spamalot recently started a new performance schedule, which includes two shows on Fridays at 6pm and 9pm.

New Performance Schedule:
Monday – Thursday at 8.00pm, Friday at 6pm and 9pm, Saturday at 2.30pm and 8.00pm (no Wednesday matinee). Running time: 2 hours – this one doesn’t drag on!

Spamalot has now extended its run until 8th February 2013

Northumberland Avenue

Tickets: £15 - £64.50.  ON SALE NOW
Box Office: 0844 871 7627 |


15th July 2013 – Hugh Bonneville
22nd July 2013 – Bradley Walsh
29th July 2013 – Eric Idle
5th August 2013 – Barbara Windsor
12th August 2013 – Simon Callow
19th August 2013 – Christopher Biggins
26th August 2013 – Michael Palin
2nd September 2013 – Larry Lamb

(More weeks to be announced soon)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

You Can Watch Terry Gilliam's The Wholly Family Here

Maverick filmmaker and former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam and the Scottish online distributor Distrify asked bloggers like me to take part in a unique experiment to help distribute Gilliam’s latest film via the Internet.

Although this unique auteur is at an age when many men think of golf and slippers, Terry Gilliam is embracing new technologies and forward-thinking methods of distribution to ensure his latest film THE WHOLLY FAMILY, winner of the 2011 European Short Film Award, is seen by his fans worldwide. (Running time approx 17 mins)

No old school cinema, DVD or TV, with the supply roads controlled by faceless bureaucrats, for this wild man of film! With the help of Distrify and bloggers (particularly Python fan blogs like this one) all over the world, he is carrying out a new method of engaging with his fans known as D2F- direct to fan.

For the first time in film history, a fan of Terry Gilliam will be able to buy the film directly from the man himself. Using the Distrify player, Terry is able to simply and effectively sell the film direct to those who want to see it without having to persuade a cinema to book it; a retailer to put it on their shelves or a broadcaster to license and schedule it. Terry can offer the film for sale from his own site. This blog is acting as conduit to Terry himself and has, therefore, become a Gilliam elf working away at the grindstone making like fans aware of what is going on.

Anyone can now simply watch the trailer on this blog and then without leaving the page, they can purchase the THE WHOLLY FAMILY straight away for the price of a cup of tea (cold tea, without milk, or sugar, or tea!) and watch it for 5 times over 30 days on their computer, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or internet-enabled TV.

"I just sit in a comfy chair and get you guys to do all my work,” said Gilliam from his home in Highgate North London. "Of course gone are the days when I could exploit my helpers for a crust of bread and a cup of sour milk. Unfortunately, you will also earn money from the selling of the film, which is another first. It is the way forward for filmmakers like me. Distrify means that more of the money made from exploiting a film goes to the people who made and financed it. This in turn means that the money can be reinvested and more films will be made, thus creating more jobs. Distrify has made a small step for The Wholly Family but a giant leap forward for the film industry.”

Here are some stills from the movie that are supposed to encourage you to watch the movie, obviously:

Distrify's Contact Details:

+44 (0)782 891 8152

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pre-order Holy Flying Circus Here

Holy Flying Circus, the fantastical pythonesque re-imagining of the controversy surrounding the release of Monty Python's 1979 film, Life of Brian - to be released on DVD on 6 February 2012 - can be pre-ordered here.

Holy Flying Circus

More about the DVD:
  • Written by Tony Roche
  • Cast includes: Darren Boyd as John Cleese; Charles Edwards as Michael Palin; Steve Punt as Eric Idle; Rufus Jones as Terry Jones; Tom Fisher as Graham Chapm; Phil Nichol as Terry Gilliam; and Stephen Fry as God.
  • Running time: 89 minutes
  • Originally broadcast on BBC 4, 20th October 2011
  • Price: £9.99
The Life of Brian/Jesus
If you like Holy Flying Circus, then it's possible you will also like the book The Life of Brian/Jesus by Julian Doyle which gives interesting insights into the Life of Brian and dramatically compares scenes in the film with the actual Biblical events and comes to some surprising conclusions. Price: £8.96

Friday, 27 January 2012

Monty Python team set for film reunion with Absolutely Anything

Terry Jones, the Python who oversaw Life of Brian, to direct 'sci-fi farce' in which remaining comics voice a group of aliens

Full Monty … the remaining Pythons in 2009 (l-r): Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle. Photograph: Peter Foley/EPA

The Monty Python team is set to reunite for the cinema screen for the first time since 1983, according to a report in Variety magazine.

Terry Jones, director of Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, as well as co-director (with Terry Gilliam) of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is to helm a "sci-fi farce" called Absolutely Anything. The other Pythons are being lined up to voice the roles of a group of aliens who endow an earthling with the power to do "absolutely anything".

Sporadic attempts at a Python film reunion have been made since their cinema career as a group ended. All surviving Pythons bar Eric Idle participated in the recent A Liar's Autobiography, an adaptation of the book by former Python Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, and his long-term partner, David Sherlock.

But in a recent interview for the Guardian, Terry Gilliam cast doubt on whether a reunion would ever be successfully achieved. "We all have our own careers now … the BBC put us on 10 years ago, and it was an hour of mediocrity … the work wasn't what it should be."

Jones's directorial career hit the buffers after 1996's The Wind in the Willows with Steve Coogan; he was reportedly upset at its treatment by its distributors in the UK and US and decided to concentrate on TV, writing and opera instead.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

No Naughty Bits is playing at the Hampstead Theatre

In the ABC boardroom: Terry Gilliam (Sam Alexander), Nancy Lewis-Jones (Charity Wakefield), Howard Myers (Joseph May), Lee Franklin (Issy van Randwyck), Robert Osterberg (Clive Rowe) and Michael Palin (Harry Hadden-Paton)

It's on until 15th October. Go and see it - it's wonderful!

Excerpted from Broadway World:

London's Hampstead Theatre just opened NO NAUGHTY BITS by Steve Thompson and directed by Edward Hall. Check out photos from press night below!

Thrill to the excitement of a night emission over Germany when the pilot Jennifer has to choose between his secret love for Louis, the bisexual navigator and Andy, the rear gunner..."
Edward Hall will direct award- winning Steve Thompson's hilarious new play No Naughty Bits; a witty and bold re-imagining based on a real-life event.

As a series of Monty Python airs on American Network television for the first time, it emerges that all the naughty bits have been cut. Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin take on the networks and the American courts, as they try to explain English humour and keep the rude bits in.

Steve Thompson is one of Britain's most acclaimed writers. His work for theatre includes his award-winning debut Damages (Bush), Whipping It Up (Bush and New Ambassadors), Roaring Trade (Paines Plough/Soho) and Song of The City (Soho). His writing credits for television include Sherlock, Doctor Who, Mutual Friends and Whistleblower.

Book Online:

Read more:

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I've seen Spamalot 8 times now! Aylesbury, 1 April 2011

Spamalot, Aylesbury, 1 April 2011

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

This brass statue of Ronnie Barker, unveiled in September 2010 by his widow Joy, David Jason and Ronnie Corbett, keeps watch over the theatre's entrance. In the 1940s, Ronnie Barker joined the Manchester Repertory Company, based in Aylesbury.

The ticket office

My Guest, William Souvatzoglou, founder of the Aylesbury firm GT Recycling, surrounded by Spamalot merchandise

The show is about to begin!

Me with King Arthur (Phill Jupitus @jupitusphillip). He was the 6th actor I've seen playing the part of King Arthur. He played the role very well I thought.

Me with the Lady of the Lake (Julie Prenger @musicalmissy) who is the most hyperactive Lady of the Lake I've ever witnessed and I told her so! Wonderful voice!

Me with the very talented Graham MacDuff whom Harry (son) and I met back in 2007 backstage at the Palace Theatre when Spamalot was doing a run there. He recognised me immediately to my astonishment and asked how Harry was doing! In 2007, he was playing the part of Sir Galahad but now he is playing Sir Lancelot. He must be the longest serving member of the Spamalot team!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Washington Post raves over Monty Python’s Camelot Smashalot

Camelot Smashalot

by Rob Crossley

Zattikka game a higher flier than those Angry Birds, says national paper

A Monty Python game based on the same premise as Angry Birds has been touted by The Washington Post as one to watch for 2011.

The Flash-based title, entitled Camelot Smashalot, tasks players with the familiar concept of hurtling projectiles at makeshift castles.

Camelot Smashalot’s mix of a popular gameplay concept with the iconic British TV comedy series has already proved a popular formula. The game has made the Washington Post’s annual In/Out list for 2011.

The title is likely to be one of the numerous minigames to feature in The Ministry of Silly Games – a fully-fledged Monty Python game to be released this year by social games firm Zattikka.

Camelot Smashalot will be released for free across Facebook.