Monty Python redefined the comedy landscape forty years ago, and though Graham Chapman, one of the tallest and silliest of the troupe, is gone the team still reconvene now and again to make us laugh, and with the release of Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) on Blu-ray and DVD today Python fans are in for a treat.

Following the success of their Holy Grail musical Spamalot, Eric Idle and composer John Du Prez have returned to the controversial Python film The Life of Brian and come up with this oratorio which features contributions from most of the remaining Pythons who recreate their roles from the film. Recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on the fortieth anniversary of the TV show, this is a wonderful ninety minutes, and when Michael Palin steps out in a beautiful floor length ball gown with bouffant hair you know you’re in for a fun time.

Taking the themes and scenes from Life of Brian Idle and Du Prez make great play with the source material and create something special – Idle is on hand reprising some of his roles in the film as well as acting as a dubious narrator. Combining and mixing musical styles Not the Messiah stays true to the message of Brian, while at the same time showing it to us fresh.

Bare in mind though – this is not Life of Brian’s Spamalot. This is a recorded performance of soloists and orchestra in front of an audience – and while there are joyful appearances by the Pythons, I’m not sure how much non-Python fans will get from it, despite the excellent staging, brilliant lighting and very, very funny moments.

The Blu-ray features a number of short featurettes about the production, and if you’re in the mood then you can sing along with a few specially chosen tracks, including (of course) Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Here’s a trailer to give you a flavour (Crunchy Frog perhaps?)

DVD Special Features Include:

“The Road to the Albert Hall” Featurette – A 30 minute behind the scenes documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew rehearsing and preparing for the show.
“Showtime!” Featurette – A unique look at the fascinating backstage mechanics of the show including last minute nerves and excitement, backstage near misses and mayhem and hasty moustache adjustments.

“The Bright Side…” Featurette – Composer Eric Idle talks us through writing this surprisingly upbeat comedy classic song!

6 Sing-A-Long Songs including “You’re the One,” “Take Us Home” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”

Blu-ray Disc Exclusive:

movieIQ+sync and BD-Live connect you to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie. Once connected, movieIQ+sync will display all of the great information movieIQ offers on a computer screen or iPhone instead of onscreen, all while staying synchronized to the movie!

Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) is out in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD today.