John Cleese won't cut Life of Brian scene for stage show despite 'modern sensitivities'
Cleese admitted ‘all the actors’ in the production had advised him to cut the scene
John Cleese has assured fans that a scene in the stage production of Life of Brian will not be cut due to modern-day sensitivities.
The Monty Python star took to Twitter to clear up any rumours about the ‘Loretta’ scene.
In the iconic 1979 film, Eric Idle’s character, Stan, tells his fellow revolutionaries that he wants to be a woman because he wants to have children. He demands to be called Loretta, but is widely mocked by the other characters who tell him he can’t have babies because he doesn’t have a womb.
Stan says: “I want to be a woman… It’s my right as a man.”
“I want to have babies… It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them,” before adding: “Don’t you oppress me!”
The Monty Python film has been adapted into a stage production, and there had been reports that after a read-through it was decided that the scene would be cut from the stage version.
Cleese has now said this is not true.
He wrote on Twitter: “A few days ago I spoke to an audience outside London. I told them I was adapting the Life of Brian so that we could do it as a stage show (NOT a musical).
“I said that we’d had a table reading of the latest draft in NYC a year ago and that all the actors – several of them Tony winners – had advised me strongly to cut the Loretta scene.
“I have, of course, no intention of doing so.”
A recent example of this misreporting !
A few days ago I spoke to an audience outside London.
I told them I was adapting the Life of Brian so that we could do it as a stage show ( NOT a musical ). I said
that we'd had a table-reading of the latest draft in NYC a year ago...(tbc) https://t.co/VPWJGdUZtJ
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) May 25, 2023
He responded to a fan who questioned why the rumour was being spread and said: “That was what was so surprising.
“These were absolutely top-class Broadway performers and they were adamant that we would not get away with doing the scene in NYC!
“I asked them ‘Are Python fans not going to come because we’re doing a scene they’ve been laughing at for 40 years?'”
That was what was so surprising
These were absolutely top-class Broadway performers and they were adamant that we would not get away with doing the scene in NYC!
I asked them "Are Python fans not going to come because we're doing a scene they've been laughing at for 40 years ?" https://t.co/EJX6pQdKWe
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) May 25, 2023
Cleese has been a vocal critic of so called ‘cancel culture’ and political correctness.
Speaking at the FreedomFest conference in July last year, Cleese said it is more difficult for comedians to be funny in today’s society due to a fear that they’ll be ‘cancelled’.
“A lot of comedians now are sitting there and when they think of something, they say something like, ‘Can I get away with it? I don’t think so. So and so got into trouble, and he said that, oh, she said that.’ You see what I mean? And that’s the death of creativity,” he said.
“So I would say at the moment, this is a difficult time, particularly for young comedians, but you see, my audience is much older, and they’re simply not interested in most of the woke attitudes.
“I mean, they just think that you should try and be kind to people and that’s no need to complicate it, you know?” he continued.
But his Monty Python co-star Eric Idle doesn’t seem to share Cleese’s views on cancel culture.
Last year, he said he had little sympathy for comedians such as Dave Chappelle who claim they have been cancelled.
Appearing on an episode of the podcast On with Kara Swisher, he was asked about Chappelle’s complaints that he is being silenced for his controversial jokes.
He responded: “Where does he say it? On SNL… well you’re not being that much cancelled, are you?
“If you were in your room complaining. I’d have a lot more sympathy.”
“You shouldn’t moan about the audience. There’s nothing wrong with the audience. If they don’t laugh at your jokes, there’s something wrong with your joke. And so… I’m not terribly sympathetic to that sort of attitude, to be honest.”
Idle has also distanced himself from the stage production of Life of Brian, saying he has “nothing at all to do” with the production.
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