Pop culture

Monty Python announces greatest hits reunion show

Nov. 21, 2013 at 7:50 AM ET

Image: Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Carol Cleveland
Andrew Parsons / Zuma Press
The members of Monty Python (Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and John Cleese) give a lift to occasional cast member Carol Cleveland at their Nov. 21 press conference.

The five surviving members of the British comedy troupe Monty Python announced at a Thursday press conference they will perform together on stage in 2014 for the first time in more than 30 years.

John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin revealed their reunion on Thursday morning at the Playhouse Theatre in London and said the performance would be a one-off greatest hits show to be held in London's O2 stadium on July 1. They also plan to include some new material.

Though the show is currently billed as a single event, at the press conference Palin and Jones both said they'd be interested in touring if the show is successful.

The last time the Pythons performed together on stage was at the Hollywood Bowl in September 1980. They haven't performed together on stage in the UK in 40 years, according to the BBC.

Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, is the one member of the troupe who won't be there in person, but the team confirmed they'd find a way to have him play a part in the show anyway. "We've told (Chapman) we're going on and if there is a God he'll be turning up," said Idle at the press conference, news of which leaked on Tuesday. 

Python regular Carol Cleveland, who was also at the event, will be taking part in the show as well.

Though the upcoming performance is billed as a greatest hits collection of sketches, the age of the comedians (all are in their 70s) will prevent at least one bit from being included: Cleese's Ministry of Silly Walks. "Silly Walks is impossible now because I've got an artificial knee and hip," said Cleese.

But, promised Gilliam, "When you're over 70 you can be absolutely shameless, and that's exactly what we're going to be."

Tickets, which will cost between £27.50 and £95, go on sale Monday at 10 a.m.

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