Monty Python comic and traveller Michael Palin will embark on a solo live tour this autumn, named Travelling to Work.
Following the Python reunion events at the O2 arena in July, the TV star will do a series of talks about his travelling experiences, programmes, and the epic adventure that changed the format travel TV shows as we knew it – Around the World in Eighty Days. Palin will speak about his relationship with travel, having the spirit of the great explorers, and that travel is not about breaking records or barriers but making life more exciting. He will use a selection of photos and footage throughout. Palin’s Travelling to Work tour will also take a look at his other love – comedy.
The idea for a live event came about after working on his third volume of diaries. “I decided that with these diaries, what I’d like to do, instead of just going to book festivals every now and then, was a month’s worth of touring round the country to introduce them,” explained Palin to Chortle, “to talk about travel and all the other things I was doing over those 10 years.”
The show will include performance, readings and the chance for the audience to interact with Palin, “I hope that I’ll be able to engage with audiences. I’m sure I’ll talk to them, they can talk back,” he said to Chortle. “What I want, especially in the second half [of the show], is to try and keep a slightly spontaneous, unstructured area, whatever I want to talk about that night. If someone wants to shout questions out in the second half, that’s fine. I love to keep it open.”
Palin was more sceptical about live tours in the 1990s, when the Pythons were offered a series of live gigs. “I was worried about a tour without Graham, within 10 years of his death, we would miss him as a writer and a performer, audiences would miss him,” explained Palin, “what would we do? Do we bring in another performer, do we get somebody else to do his lines?”
Recently, the Python comedy troupe were sued by Mark Forstater, the producer of 1975 comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who wanted a bigger cut from spin-off musical, Spamalot. The Pythons said they needed the money and took up the offer of a 2014 tour.
Travelling to Work will begin in Crawley on September 7, and the third volume of his diaries is released September 11.