Shannon stars as Judith in this film version of Monty Python funny-man Eric Idle’s Not the Messiah, a comic oratorio inspired by Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Shannon debuted the role in the world premiere at Toronto’s 2007 Luminato Festival and subsequently at the Caramoor Festival, on a US tour to Houston, Washington, and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. This DVD was produced from the oratorio’s only European performance, given at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall in October 2009 to celebrate 40 years of Monty Python.

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Eric Idle as Baritonish
Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland, Neil Innes
William Ferguson as Brian, Shannon Mercer as Judith, Rosalind Plowright as Mandy, Christopher Purves as Reg

Directed by Aubrey Powell
Written by John Du Prez, Eric Idle
Produced by John Goldstone
Music by John Du Prez
Cinematography by Eugene O’Connor
Edited by Simon Sleap
Costume Design by Hazel Pethig

Released June 2010

Track listing

Introit: Overture
1. The Liberty Bell

Part One: Apocalypso Now
1. Chaos and Confusion!
2. There Shall Be Monsters
3. O God You Are So Big

Part Two: The Boy Next Door
1. Mandy’s Song
2. Woe Woe Woe!
3. And There Were Shepherds
4. Spiritual

Part Three: The Temptation of Brian
1. Brian’s Dream
2. What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?
3. The People’s Front of Judea
4. I Want To Be A Girl
5. The Market Square
6. You’re The One

Part Four: Baroque and Roll
1. Hail To The Shoe!
2. Amourdeus
3. The Chosen One Has Woken!
4. When I Grow Up
5. Take Us Home
6. The Chosen One (cont.)
7. Individuals

Part Five: Miserere Loves Company
1. Find Your Dream
2. Arrested!
3. A Fair Day’s Work
4. The Final Song
5. “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”
6. Encore Lumberjack Song sung by Michael Palin

Runtime: 91 minutes


“The soloists perform with much gusto, effectively mugging through some of the more outlandish pieces.” (Just Press Play, 13 June 2010)

“The soloists – William Ferguson, Shannon Mercer, Rosalind Plowright, Christopher Purves – are also good comic actors who hold their own with Idle, who serves as our guide and narrator (and even sings in a voice described as “tenorish”).” (Kansas City Star, June 2010)

“Imparting a lovely, faux-classical vibe to the proceedings are four trained vocalists who share the fore with Idle, and they’re up to the challenge of reinterpreting Python… William Ferguson (Brian) and Shannon Mercer (Brian’s oblivious girlfriend, Judith) truly made me howl, especially in their horny duet, “Amourdeus” — which sits wonderfully well in the cockeyed Python canon.” (Huffington Post, 10 June 2010)

“The musical numbers are what really make this show work. All are executed well, with vocal talent from strong soloists: soprano Shannon Mercer, mezzo Rosalind Plowright, tenor William Ferguson and bass Christopher Purves. The BBC Orchestra…” (DVDtown, 3 June 2010)

“The performance was well done. The opera singers were fantastic and while singing these hilarious songs, they acted the part showing great facial expressions and most of all, Eric Idle definitely did a wonderful job as the Baritonish and John Du Prez doing a wonderful job in conducting the orchestra.” (J!, 16 May 2010)

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