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LONDON – The Monty Python onstage reunion show here next month will be bigger, “a little bit ruder” and feature various song-and-dance scenes, Carol Cleveland, known as the “Female Python” or “Seventh Python,” has told U.K. magazine Radio Times.
Rehearsals have started, with the show at the British capital’s O2 Arena opening on July 1 for a 10-date run.
The five surviving members of legendary U.K. comedy group Monty Python — John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam — earlier this year announced the reunion shows. They will be their first joint stage performances since a show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1980 before the 1989 death of fellow Python Graham Chapman.
“Fans are going to be seeing a much bigger show, a much more exciting show,” Cleveland told the Radio Times website. “It’s a little bit ruder than it has been in the past.” The actress, who will be part of the show, didn’t provide further details.
“But the biggest change in this show from when we’ve done it before is the 20 ensemble singer dancers,” Cleveland told Radio Times. “We have big musical numbers, so there’s lots of dancing and singing as well…. It’s part of the sketch. They don’t just come out and do a number, so yes, they’re used in the sketches as well.”
She also mentioned several famous sketches that will be part of the show. As expected, the Pythons will perform the “Parrot Sketch.” The show will also include the “Argument Sketch,” the popular “Lumberjack Song” and song number “Christmas in Heaven” from the film Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, according to Cleveland.
The actress also highlighted the large number of costume changes required, quipping, “I think I spend more time changing my costume than being on stage. So it’s a much bigger show than it’s ever been before.”
Cleveland used to appear in showgirl outfits on TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Discussing her role in the reunion show, she joked that “what I do in the show is not quite what I did in the show 34 years ago.”
She added: “I was the only female in the show then, and I was the glamour tease, but now, we have 20 ensemble singer-dancers, and so we have 10 beautiful young ladies…. So, I’m playing sort of more the character parts now.”
Cleveland said though that she she insisted on showing up in her showgirl outfit at least once in Monty Python Live (Mostly).
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