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Pythons Reunite for UK 'Spamalot' Premiere

Four members of the British cult comedy team Monty Python reunited briefly on Tuesday to attend the London premiere of "Spamalot," a musical version of the 1974 classic comedy film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Author and lyricist Eric Idle, flanked by three of his fellow Pythons on the opening night, hopes to match "Spamalot's" record-breaking run on Broadway where it took more than one million dollars a week and landed three Tony awards.

"I am a little nervous," Idle admitted, as he was joined by fellow Pythons Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. John Cleese was away on location in Australia.

But British critics, with one exception, raved about "Spamalot" with Tim Curry reprising his Broadway role as King Arthur, gathering knights to join him on his quest for the Holy Grail.

"Deliriously silly and loopily enjoyable," decided the Independent. "Manic, tasteless, derivative, scatter-shot and very funny," said the Daily Express.

However the Guardian complained: "Irony has its place but it's not quite enough to sustain a whole evening."

Turning "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" into "Spamalot" took Python member Eric Idle three years.

Before Idle could embark on making the musical, he had to get permission from the other four surviving members of the comedy troupe. Graham Chapman died in 1989.

Palin revelled in the reunion. "We really don't see each other enough as Eric lives in America. He is very funny and very good company. We become quite juvenile together," he told reporters.

Terry Jones agreed: "It is a very emotional moment. I hope I will be able to survive the emotional shock of it all."


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