Never has so much goodwill flowed from an audience to the performers. Really, Eric and the gang could have sat and read the papers and got a standing ovation. But fortunately, it was an evening to remember anyway. I don’t think anyone expected a sketch show, or even Spamalot, which was lucky, because “Not The Messiah” was virtually an operatic piece, with the full BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. However, straight-laced it was not. In fact, for much of the time it was very silly. Just as you’d expect.
Eric Idle, present on stage throughout, and John Du Prez, conducting, were obviously the main forces behind the show, but the other Pythons naturally stole the show in their bit parts, especially Michael Palin. And they were all having a ball.
Odd that such a landmark event really does appear to be a one-off. There’ll undoubtedly be a DVD to follow, but it won’t be a patch on seeing the whole ensemble. Python fans will be very glad to say “I was there”.
And yes, they did an encore. And yes, it was The Lumberjack Song. With full orchestral backing. And Carol exclaiming maybe for one last time: “And I thought you were so rugged!”