Monty Python added another four dates to their “one-off” reunion show on Monday after thousands of tickets to their first London live performance sold out in just 43.5 seconds.
John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin announced their long-awaited return to the stage last week, sparking huge excitement among fans of the comedians who have not performed together since 1980.
They said they only planned to do one show at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena on July 1, and Idle said the intention was “to see if we can fill it”.
But the promoters were clearly prepared for the huge demand that saw tickets with a face value of under £100 offered on re-sale websites for £1,600 ($2,600, 1,900 euros) within 15 minutes of the sale opening.
“The first show sold out in 43.5 seconds. Four further shows immediately went on sale: 2-5 July,” a spokesman for Monty Python told AFP.
The Pythons will perform the most famous sketches from their television program and films — although advancing age has imposed some limits on what they will be able to do.
Cleese, 74, admitted that a repeat of his Ministry of Silly Walks sketch will be “impossible” as he now has an artificial hip and artificial knee.
“I think you can expect a little comedy, a lot of pathos, some music and a tiny bit of ancient sex,” added Idle, 70.
The troupe became famous with their irreverent and surreal television show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” from 1969 to 1974, which was sold to almost 100 countries.
One of their hit sketches was Dead Parrot, where Cleese tries to return a Norwegian Blue to a pet shop because it is dead. The owner, Palin, responds: “He’s not dead, he’s resting!”.
They also made several films including 1975’s “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, a parody of the legend of King Arthur, and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” in 1979, the tale of a young man mistaken for Jesus which riled religious groups.