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David Bowie sees the Monty Python’s Flying Circus stage show

David Bowie and Mick Jagger attended a stage performance of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on 3 March 1974.

The stage show took place at the Theatre Royal on London’s Drury Lane.

We have now completed seven shows at Drury Lane – ending last week with a grand flourish of two shows on Friday and two shows on Saturday. I am chewing pastilles and gargling with honey and lemon three times a day as a result…

The live show has been a must for pop personalities. Mick Jagger and Bowie have shared a box – rather off-putting, actually, they were right beside the stage – and Ringo has twice been to see it.

Michael Palin
Diaries 1969-1979 – The Python Years

Cherry Vanilla – Bowie’s ghostwriter for Mirabelle magazine – later wrote about the show in Bowie’s name:

As I promised last week I am going to tell you about the wonderful time I had when I went to see ‘The Monty Python Flying Circus Show’ at the Drury Lane Theatre recently.

One of the sketches I (and the audience, too) really seemed to enjoy was ‘The Election’ one. After all the seriousness of the past few weeks, it was great to have a good laugh at politics. In the sketch there are three parties running The Sensible Party, The Silly Party and The Very Silly Party. The Silly and The Very Silly Parties candidates all had the most way-out names and their voices were quite something else!

Another part of the show I really enjoyed was a kind of false interval when John Cleese suddenly appears in the aisle dressed up as an ice cream salesgirl with a difference. Instead of selling ices and soft drinks he’s offering albatrosses!

Another speciality offered to the enthusiastic audience was a visit to the Ministry of Silly Walks. In case you missed seeing this on your television screens I’ll try to explain what it’s all about – but it is a little difficult. Michael Palin goes to see John Cleese who works at The Ministry of Silly Walks to try to get a grant so that he can develop his own silly walk. But John Cleese insists it isn’t really silly enough and shows his special silly walk. But as he can tell Michael Palin is really interested he says that he’ll run a film to show silly walks of the past. The cinema screen at the back of the stage suddenly shows the most crazy, outrageous walks you can imagine. These are all speeded up to create a very fast effect.

The screen was used a lot during sketches and in between sketches while the small cast hurriedly changed themselves and the scenery.

The whole audience were clearly devotees of this talented team, because on leaving and entering the beautiful old theatre they were imitating the cast.

I think I should add that some parts of the show are just a little bit shocking and obviously on the stage the cast can get away with more than they can on the BBC. But all in all that was really a night to remember.

Mirabelle, 4 May 1974
Last updated: 17 May 2023
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