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Monty Python reunion promises "comedy, pathos and ancient sex"

The surviving members of the original cast of the Monty Python comedy team (L-R) Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones,Terry Gilliam and Joh
The surviving members of the original cast of the Monty Python comedy team (L-R) Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones,Terry Gilliam and Joh

By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - The remaining members of British comedy troupe Monty Python announced on Thursday they would regroup for the first time since the 1980s to stage a comedy and musical show next year at one of London's biggest venues.

The one-off show on July 1 will be tailored to fit the massive O2 Arena and feature some of the group's most famous material, but also will include skits never before performed on stage, the five Pythons said at a news conference.

"We just thought it would be fun to try and see if we were still funny and that is our intention so far, just to do the O2 and see if we can fill it," Eric Idle, one of the members of the group who are all now in their 70s, said.

Asked what the show would offer, he said: "I expect a little comedy, pathos, music and a tiny piece of ancient sex."

John Cleese said they wanted to include some of their most famous routines, such as the "Dead Parrot", but would work in new material as well.

"People do really want to see the old hits but we don't want to do them in a predictable way," Cleese said.

"The main danger we have is that the audience know the scripts better than we do."

The group said tickets would range in price from 27.50 pounds to 95 pounds ($45-150) - "only 300 pounds less than the Stones" - a reference to prices of almost 400 pounds for the last Rolling Stones concert tour. The O2 can seat up to 20,000.

The comedy team made its name in the BBC television sketch series "Monty Python's Flying Circus" in the 1970s and went on to make offbeat feature films such as "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" and "Monty Python's Life of Brian".

Graham Chapman, one of the original members, died of cancer in 1989 at age 48, but the Pythons said he would be there in spirit - and perhaps in person.

"We've told him we're going on and if there is a God he'll be turning up," Idle said. ($1 = 0.6184 British pounds)

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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