well, what an incredible way to spend an afternoon! we, with many thanks indeed to my Mum and Dad, had front row tickets for John Cleese's celebrated and perhaps, two years in, infamous Alimony Tour!
sorry, nothing but respect from me for the request/demand that people do not fiddle with phones and cameras during the actual performance. i did, however, take a quick picture of the stage from my seat before it all started. if it interests you, here it is!
for those of you unaware of exactly why Mr Cleese is out on tour around the world, well the name of the tour gives you a clue. a judge in Los Angeles, one that Mr Cleese is not particularly keen on might i add, decided that he had to pay his now ex-wife $20 millon (!) in alimony. he says that it is money he simply does not have, and thus he is out and about performing.
whereas the premise and purpose could lead one to suspect that this is an excercise in self-depreciation and prostration from this legend, the truth is over on the other end of the spectrum. this tour is all about celebration and self-affirmation.
and what a brilliant show it is too! i am not going to reveal any of the specific comments, jokes or memories he shared with us here (partially because of the language, mostly out of not wishing to spoil it for anyone), but they are all wonderful.
if you get the chance to see him perform this show, take the chance!
and i think you will have to see him live, as there is precious little chance of this ever getting a DVD release. i am no expert in the ways of the law, but i dare say some of the comments in his performance would attract a huge pack of libel lawyers if it was ever published. i am, then, rather glad to have heard it all!
just about every area of his professional, performing career is touched on (wonderfully even Yellowbeard, a film i love but one that is a touch obscure!), and he gives some wonderful, warm insights into the how and why he became who he is today.
and who he is today is certainly one of the most loved figures in British comedy, ever. but you don't really need me to tell you something you already know.
highlights for me without giving anything away? certainly discussing the late, great Graham Chapman, really. and a pretty pleasant, positive set of memories of all that he has worked with, be it his fellow Pythons or other, like the amazing Peter Cook.
it's kind of a great shame that financial concerns have brought this to us, really. but then again, i have to say i am then glad that this is the way the world has turned. he probably would not have bothered to go out and do this sort of thing were it not the pressing need to balance the bank account, and that would have been a great shame as it is truly two hours of wonder to listen to him.
i have no idea how much longer Mr Cleese is going to go around the world with this show, but as i said, if you get the chance to see him, please do all that you can to take the chance. not only will you help him win a battle with a bewildering legal system, but you'll be entertained like never before!
many thanks again to Mum & Dad for the class tickets!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(and yes, go on then, one spoiler - he does do a variant of a certain walk........)