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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 19 October 2010
Having seen most things from Python I had high expectations of this new show. However while I wasn't sure what I was expecting it to be like, other than being based on the 'Life of Brian' film, it certainly did not live up to it.

It's a total musical performance of 'Life of Brian', with all new songs (except the one famous one) written by Eric Idle, which I thought I would enjoy very much but for some reason it seemed to fall completely flat for me and I found my self pressing the FF button. Which is a pity because up until now I have loved all things Python-ny

I have seen similar products done this way (such as the brilliant 'Les Miserables - Live at the Albert Hall) and have thoroughly enjoyed them. It may be that I expected too much or wanted it to be more like the film that I feel so let down by it.

In summary if you not expecting a stage version of the film and are prepared to watch it as something completely new than maybe you will see more to enjoy in this show than I did. Otherwise avoid if you wish not to be disappointed.
11 comment| 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 February 2012
This is a comic oratorio. Eric Idle likes to make fun of the famous. With John du Prez he has now turned to Handel (but also Mozart, Richard Strauss and some others). It was originally written as a warm up for Spamalot. But it was turned into a good evening out to celebrate the Monty Python ruby jubilee. The performance is excellent. The soloists are great, making this a good performance for classical music enthousiasts. It is interspersed with typical Monty Python silliness. Does it work? Not in my mind. I either watch the silliness or the great performances of the classically trained. Rosalind Plowright, Shannon Mercer, Christopher Purves and especially William Ferguson are wonderful. But they are an act among themselves, they stand apart from the silliness. So basically you get a two for one. If you are handy with the remote (like I am), you can either watch a very clever cross over of classical music (it is almost fusion - of opera and musical) or orchestrated silliness. Is it worth the money? Every penny! But in your first sitting expect to be confused. It is not Monty Python and it is not Spamalot. It is something completely different (no pun intended). I either watch the silliness but prefer to watch the soloists (but that is personal). If you like classical music you can probably see the references. I think Ken Russell would have liked it. In summary, one of the best buys I ever made. I watch it regularly and it never bores me. And is that not what art is supposed to do? That it is based on Monty Pythons "The life of Brian" (and it is a quite faithfull adaptation) is secondary. Praise must also go to the BBC for participating in this adventure, without the orchestra and choir the performance would have paled, now it is a spectacle. Buy it, see it, tell your friends about it (or am I getting carried away?). Entertainment at its best.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is an oratorio first, and a comedy second. It's not your conventional Monty Python fare, nor is it a "Hollywood Bowl"-style celebration of Python humour.

What it IS is a tongue-in-cheek yet often straight-faced musical parody of Handel's "Messiah", with over 100 voices and a 120-piece orchestra, that has a sense of humour and is inspired by- rather than being a retelling of the story of- "Life Of Brian". If you know what you're expecting, and you're not expecting a classic 40th anniversary Monty Python reunion, then you'll probably enjoy this. Apart from an encore of "The Lumberjack Song" and the inevitable "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" this is not "Monty Python Sings".

It's not Eric Idle's finest work- I'm afraid I think "The Rutles" was the last time he was actually funny- and some of the new musical jokes are on the weak and obvious side, but the four lead vocalist's performances are vocally strong as well as being full of fun. It's enjoyable but not laugh-out-loud funny.

The Blu-ray is reasonable, with two behind-the-scenes documentaries (running for about 40 minutes in total) and some other extra pieces which help explain why "Not The Messiah" even exists, which seems more like a happy accident than a deliberate celebration or a cash-in.

This is only for real Python completists or for opera fans with a sense of humour, rather than a must-have for everybody.
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on 10 June 2010
I'm a Python fan...I paid the extortionate price to see them all (minus JC) at the Royal Albert Hall. I'm so glad I went. A unique event. But was it worth the hype...no. It really was a poor musical/operetta which you could only follow by reading the programme with occasional (fantastic) Python sketches to liven proceedings. I'm going to buy the DVD and I will watch it once...because I was there. Although loosely based on the wonderful Life of Brian, it simply does not work. If you saw Spamalot and loved it (which I did) and are expecting more of the same then you will be very disappointed...sorry.
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on 3 November 2010
Heard about this from friends and it is excellent - if you like Monty Python, and particularly the Life of Brian, and are prepared to listen to an operatic style treatment. The Life of Brian is there, but in a new way, almost as good as the original.
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on 14 May 2016
i should have read some of the reviews before purchasing this. It is an orchestra with a few voices in between segments, based around some of the key sketches of monty python, life of brian. I was expecting more of a performance, it's less of a theatre production and is not witty or funny, catering to music lovers only. There is little comedy.. in the main i found it repetitive and dull - the music started to grind.. to the same tune halfway through.. There's no great theatrical performance, nor stage costumes. It's such a big disappointment to the original sketches; (because there are little to none). If you like the comedy of Life of Brian, don't consider watching this..
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on 11 May 2010
This was amazing, best show iv ever seen. An honourable tribute to Monty python. John Du Prez and Eric Idle have done so well in this show and deserve every credit. I know this review is out before the release but I was there for one night only and the memory will be with me forever. Fantastic
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on 25 June 2010
I wasn't there when this was filmed, unlike the other reviews, so I'm not biased in that sense.

I absolutely loved it. A comic oratio in five movements based on both Life of Brian and Handel's Messiah - if you know Life of Brian and other Python sketches inside and out, you should really enjoy this. Don't expect it to be another Python film, because it isn't, it has charm and humour in its own right.

The four soloists and Idle (as a Baritone-ish addition) do a fantastic job, with William Ferguson as Brian doing a superb job by virtue of his stunning voice combined with his hilarious facial expressions and gestures.

Song highlights include 'Chaos and Confusion', 'What have the Romans ever done for us?' and 'Amourdeus'.

Buy it. Love it!
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on 28 January 2011
I'm a big Python fan and own the complete boxset of the films and tv series, as well as the Almost the Truth documentary. However, I was left somewhat underwhelmed by this show. Many parts simply bored the pants off me. If you're a completest Python fan and/or a musicals fan then I'm sure you'll find it entertainment enough, but if you're looking for the usual Python humour you may be disappointed. For picture and sound the blu ray is excellent quality.
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on 20 May 2015
This is Eric Idle all over. Over laying Handle with the Life of Brian in an oratorio. It is clear that the Opera singers, choir and orchestra are having a wale of a time and loving it. Great fun from start to finish. If you thing opera is a bore, watch this, you will be a convert.

Brilliant!
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