Pythons deny producer is owed Spamalot royalties

A scene from Spamalot at its previous home, the Noel Coward Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton
A scene from Spamalot at its previous home, the Noel Coward Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Members of comedy troupe Monty Python have denied that the producer of the film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail is owed royalties from the stage production of Spamalot.

 

Michael Palin, Eric Idol and Terry Jones were giving evidence in a case in which Mark Forstater, who has been described as the “seventh Python”, claims he was short changed over royalties from West End and Broadway musical.

 

Spamalot is the stage musical spin-off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Forstater was producer of the Grail film.

 

In his claim, Forstater's lawyers argue that he should for royalty purposes be treated as the “seventh Python.”

 

But this week members of Monty Python rejected that claim before one of the country’s top judges, Mr Justice Norris.

 

Palin told the court: “That may have been what he wanted but it was never going to be accepted by the Pythons. The idea of a seventh Python just doesn’t happen. It was never going to be accepted.

 

“I don’t think there was ever any suggestion that this man was going to be a seventh Python.”

 

He added that Forstator had not created the film and said it had been created entirely by the Python team.

 

He continued: “Mark came on board. He became the producer. But I don’t think he was entitled to anything beyond that.”

 

He said Forstater was “not part of the team.”

 

Eric Idle told the court that it was laughable to say that Forstater had been the “seventh Python.”

 

He told the court that the film had been created by the Python team and continued: “Mark came on board. He became the producer. But I don’t think he was entitled to anything beyond that.”

 

Terry Jones agreed. He told the court that the Python group was a strong one and said : “We dictated what went on.”

 

He added that he thought Forstater had done “jolly well” out of his involvement.

 

The hearing continues.

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