By Nicole Fitzgerald
What: Naughty Bits
When: June 15-16
Where: MY Millennium Place
Do you speak Python?
The 11 members of Naughty Bits , a series of sketches from the hit British comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus , all speak Python — it was a prerequisite to joining the cast of the Between Shifts Theatre production coming to Whistler Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at MY Millennium Place.
“They know every line off by heart,” said actor Randy Marohn of Pythonheads spouting off famous and even not so famous quotes from Python classics such as Nudge Nudge in rehearsals. “Tim Shoults is a walking encyclopedia of all things Python. If you are delivering your lines wrong, he’ll be the first to let you know.”
For the first time in her life, Naughty Bits director Liz Gruber was surrounded by like-minded nuts who worshipped the Python phenomenon, born from a television series broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. “The Pythons”, including most famed Eric Idle, Terry Jones and John Cleese, became The Beatles of comedy, paving the way for gafaws of the absurd, the naked and men dressing up as women dressing up as men.
“I love that it’s so unpredictable,” Gruber said. “The humour is insane: I mean a guy with three buttocks; that is bizarre stuff. The absurdity of it appeals to me immensely.”
Squamish has become the Python grail with people pilgramaging as far away as Victoria and Seattle to see the Between Shifts ode to Python. Last year’s show resurrecting Cleese’s Fawlty Towers sold out along with its extended run. Naughty Bits ’ premier at Eagle Eye Theatre was met with the same sold-out, boisterous applause last month.
“I am so lucky to perform it and also get to share it with people, and I get to meet other people who like this humour too. Who knew so many people loved Python?” Gruber said.
Or maybe it’s Marohn’s vulnerability — the adult show comes with warnings of clean language, sexual innuendo, token violence against parrots and penguins, and “barely” no nudity.
“With British humour comes the obligatory bare bum,” Gruber said.
“One of the things I never counted on in getting involved with community theatre is that you can’t go to Save On Foods without someone coming up and saying, ‘What a great job you did’ or ‘That was more of you than I wanted to see last night,’” Marohn laughed.
Marohn got involved in community theatre three years ago, but to date Naughty Bits has been the most challenging and rewarding.
“It’s nothing but the giggles,” he said of rehearsals. “The rehearsal process is far more entertaining than being on stage… Just being on stage and hearing laughter and you know you are hitting it, that is one of the biggest joys. And when you have to delay a line delivery because you are waiting for the audience to quiet down, you know you’ve done your job well.”
Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for students and seniors. The subject matter is not intended for audiences under 18 years old.