Holy Flying Circus on DVD

Thursday, 02 February 2012 13:35

In 1979, Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” became one of the most controversial films ever to be released in British cinemas, causing outrage amongst religious groups, members of the public and politicians, most of whom hadn’t even seen the film. Accusing it of being blasphemous, many called for the film to be banned.

On the back of this is a brand-new, critically acclaimed comedy-drama “Holy Flying Circus” revisits that period and delivers a witty, entertaining and affectionate homage to the Pythons and the film that, today, has become accepted as one of the greatest comedy movies of all time. As the controversy surrounding the cinema release of “Life Of Brian” raged around them, the Pythons found themselves not only fighting a war against censorship but also at the centre of a debate about what is an acceptable subject matter for comedy. And we had two copies to give away in a prize competition. It's worth noting that when this release featured on the new DVD and Blu-ray review show Behind The Sofa, 8.00pm Sundays on Sky channel 200, it walked off with the "Release of the Week" acolade.

Holy Flying Circus - on DVDGarnering Five Star reviews in Heat and TV Times (“Anarchic and witty with post-modern flourishes that the Pythons themselves would be proud of”) and Four Star reviews in the Daily Express and the Daily Mail (which praised it for being “batty and exceptionally well made”), it was hailed by the Sunday Telegraph for being “cheeky, fantastical… [and] very funny,” acclaimed as “a triumph” by The Sunday Times and considered “one of the most insanely creative, joyous, electric, ridiculous, heartfelt, ballsy and unique dramas I have ever seen” by Caitlin Moran on The Saturday Times.

Starring Charles Edwards (Waking The Dead) as Michael Palin, Darren Boyd (Spy) as John Cleese, Steve Punt (BBC Radio 4’s “The Now Show”, Horrible Histories) as Eric Idle, Rufus Jones (Thank God You’re Here) as Terry Jones, Tom Fisher (The Young Victoria) as Graham Chapman and Phil Nichol (Broken News) as Terry Gilliam, “Holy Flying Circus” is a joyfully surreal comedy that perfectly captures the Python spirit and features remarkable performances from its excellent cast. Written by Oscar and BAFTA Award nominee Tony Roche (The Thick Of It; “In The Loop”), it was directed by Owen Harris (Misfits, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl).

In an attempt to put their side of the argument to the public and to defend the film against the charges of blasphemy, Michael Palin and John Cleese agreed to take part in a live debate on a Tim Rice-hosted edition of the television chat show, “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”.

Arguing the case against the Pythons were two prominent society figures of the time, journalist and author Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, the then Bishop of Southwark. What transpired that night has become the stuff of TV legend and was famously regarded by author Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) as his “favourite bit of television”.

“Holy Flying Circus” presents a fantastical, Pythonesque re-imagining of the events leading up to and including the riveting TV debate and the eventual release of “Life Of Brian” in British cinemas. A brilliant and very funny work on its own merits, it is a must-see for Monty Python fans and all those with an interest in the vagaries of comedy.

“Holy Flying Circus” is out now on DVD from FremantleMedia Enterprises, with a ‘15’ certificate and a RRP of £15.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

And you had the opportunity to put one of two copies available to win on to your mantelpiece, in our prize competition. All you had to do was tell us the answer to the following question: Which member of BBC Radio 4’s “The Now Show” team is one of the stars of “Holy Flying Circus”? The answer was Steve Punt, and the winners were Heather Knotts of Alnwick and Gareth Earls of Bodmin - well done both!


Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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