I can still remember how pleased my Dad sounded when I announced we’d be going to the opening night of Monty Python’s show at the O2 Arena – a life-long fan, I owe my deep love of the trail-blazing comedy troupe’s body of work to him. Getting tickets felt a bit like a lottery win! And that will be a familiar feeling for fans around the country; the buzz surrounding this series of gigs – a reunion we were sure wouldn’t happen – has been immense. It’s the first time that either of us visited the O2, and the whole experience promised to make for a memorable night!
My journey down from York was a treat in itself; the Grand Central service was quick and comfy, and the legroom was astounding! In almost no time at all I was hurtling towards the O2 from King’s Cross, and everything was so simple.
There are some buildings and landmarks that instantly impress – for me, the Coliseum and the Sydney Opera House have been top of that list – and it’s because it feels surreal to finally be there. It felt a bit like this at the O2 Arena – I’ve always wanted to go, and never gotten around to it (even when it was the Millennium Dome!) so it was such a rush to see it with my own eyes! Overawed by the entire experience, by the time Monty Python took to the stage I had a very big smile on my face.
I don’t want to give too much away, but it should come as no great surprise that the group’s classic sketches feature heavily. Crowd-pleasing skits are played out like anthemic rock songs – the same sense of ecstatic anticipation hangs in the air – and as each sketch starts, those who know the lines immediately start to mouth along.
The ‘set list’ has many of the best bits of the troupe’s classic live show at Drury Lane and I was far from the only one grinning from ear to ear when the Four Yorkshiremen Sketch, The Spanish Inquisition, The Argument Song and the inimitable Dead Parrot Sketch made an appearance. Even in a crowd of 15,000, there was a palpable sense that everyone there was a devoted fan who had been waiting all their lives for this moment.
Between the classic sketches came big musical set pieces – perhaps a nod to the incredible success of Monty Python’s Spamalot – that, true to form, descend into jaw-dropping absurdity. That’s the Monty Python we all know and love – whipping the audience into such a frenzied hilarity that whichever sketch or flight of fancy comes next, the laughs just keep on coming.
This is the gig – this first night – that sold out in 45 seconds. More than anything, I simply feel extraordinarily lucky to have been there and I envy everyone going to see the other shows. The O2 Arena surpassed my every expectation and what a night to first visit it! The venue is absolutely made for special nights and lasting memories like this one; I can only whole-heartedly recommend it to everybody!
Are you planning your own trip to the O2 this year? Tell us what you’re off to see in the comments section below!