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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 17:52 GMT
Idle's Messiah is Spamalot sequel
John Cleese in a scene from Life of Brian
The Life Of Brian has been named best comedy film of all time
Former Monty Python star Eric Idle is to follow up his smash hit musical Spamalot with an oratorio based on the comedy troupe's Life Of Brian film.

Not The Messiah (He's A Very Naughty Boy) will premiere at the Luminato festival in Toronto, Canada in June.

Commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, it will be conducted by Idle's cousin, Peter Oundjian.

The Life Of Brian was condemned as blasphemous in 1979, prompting some local councils in the UK to ban it.

It tells the story of Brian Cohen, a young man born on the same night and the same street as Jesus Christ.

The Pythons have always insisted it was a satire on the excesses of organised religion, but many Christians felt it was a direct attack on the church.

Monty Python's Life of Brian
The film was branded blasphemous and heretical
Film fans embraced it, however, and it was named the greatest comedy film of all time in a 2006 poll for Channel 4.

It is not known whether Idle's musical interpretation of the film will include the chart-topping song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, which closes the movie.

The song is already featured in Spamalot, which is based on Python's Holy Grail film.

Written by Idle and composer John DuPrez, the musical has won three Tony awards and took $1m (534,000) in a week when it opened on Broadway in 2005.

The duo will collaborate again on the Messiah musical, but neither will reveal further details.

"I promise it will be funnier than Handel, although probably not as good," Idle told film trade paper Variety.

Toronto's Luminato festival is a new event which promises to "showcase local, regional and international artists, playwrights and film-makers".

Running from 1-10 June, the festival will also host the world premiere of composer Philip Glass's Book of Longing, a concert piece based on poems by Leonard Cohen.

Pythons attend Spamalot premiere
18 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Python launches West End Spamalot
21 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Press views: Spamalot
17 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
Life of Brian named best comedy
01 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
C4 plans 'offensive comedy' week
20 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Spamalot producers sued by model
25 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Spamalot takes US critics awards
09 May 05 |  Entertainment

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