(Removes typo from headline)
* Pythons: Broadcast of last show a chance to say goodbye
* Reunion to feature famous routines, with tweaks
* Palin: Show takes energy, Gilliam says hurts the next day
By Michael Roddy
LONDON, June 30 The dead parrot routine, the
Spanish Inquisition and the silly walk will all be performed on
stage this week for what the five remaining members of the Monty
Python comedy team, all in their 70s, said on Monday will
probably be their last reunion.
"Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five to Go" opens at
London's cavernous O2 arena on Tuesday for 10 performances with
the last one on July 20 to be broadcast worldwide.
In addition to famous Python skits, it will be a fully
staged theatrical extravaganza with dancers and an orchestra. It
will also feature a filmed appearance by Python Graham Chapman,
who died in 1989, and a cameo for British theoretical physicist
Stephen Hawking, the Pythons said at a news conference.
The surviving members of the comedy team, which became an
international sensation in the 1960s with their quirky comedy
programme "Monty Python's Flying Circus", said they did not
expect to perform together again on stage - and that is why they
are broadcasting the last show.
"When we thought it was going to be the last one, we
thought, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful to put it on around the world
so it's a world event?'" Eric Idle, who directed the show, said.
"It means that you're actually going to say goodbye publicly
on one show and no one has the chance to do that. The Beatles
didn't get a last good night and I think that's rather lovely. I
think it's dear and sweet and gracious and I'm very grateful
that that's come to be," Idle said at a London theatre.
He and fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael
Palin and Terry Gilliam sat at a long table with a screen behind
them showing a graveyard with a tombstone engraved "G Chapman".
Before they came on stage, a video clip was shown featuring
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who is also in his 70s,
wondering - tongue in cheek - why anyone would want to see a
comedy team that old.
Idle said that while the show would have dancers and an
orchestra, they were basically going to perform their most
famous routines, with a tweak here and there - much as veteran
rock groups like the Rolling Stones do on tour.
"If you go out and do a stadium, and you're going to look at
your material, they're going to want to see, they want to see
the parrot, they want to see 'Let's Spend the Night Together',"
Idle said, referring to a Stones classic, and their own famous
routine about a man trying to return a dead parrot to a shop.
"It would be folly to try and write better things than our
best at this age. It would be stupid so we've changed it up and
put some surprises in, there's a bit of filming and then there's
some guests... a couple of really interesting guest stars which
I'm just going to tease you with.
"Can I say? Stephen Hawking is actually in the show. He's
coming to it too and he's a big Python fan so he was asked if he
wanted to do the show and in one minute he said yes."
Palin said the costume changes and performing the routines
take stamina, but he thought the Pythons were up for it.
"We want to be energetic. I mean, the opening number is
energetic. We leap around and all that. And that really sets the
standard. I'm really quite worn out even after the first
number," Idle said.
"But throughout that, you've got Mick Jagger. You've got to
take that example that we can still move fast around the stage
so a slight madness takes over and you leap about at certain
points. Well, I do."
"Yeah, it's the next day when you realise what you've done
to your body," Gilliam added.
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)