Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Tickets sold out for Python film

(L-R) John Cleese, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman
(L-R) John Cleese, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman in Life of Brian

Tickets for a special charity screening in mid Wales of the Monty Python film Life of Brian have sold out within two days, say organisers.

Stars Terry Jones and Michael Palin will join Aberystwyth mayor Sue Jones-Davies - who also appeared in the 1979 film - at a showing on 28 March.

It was thought the film had been banned in the town in a blasphemy row but it has emerged it was shown there in 1981.

The 120 tickets were sold to mainly local people for the charity showing.

They went on sale at Aberystwyth Arts Centre last week.

Arts centre deputy director Louise Amery said nearly all of the tickets were sold to locals, but some had been sold to Python fans in Cowbridge and Cardiff.

Long before becoming mayor, Ms Jones-Davies played Brian's girlfriend in Life of Brian.

The messiah

She pledged to fight for the film to be shown when she believed it had not been screened in Aberystwyth before.

But local Monty Python fan Rory Hogan, who launched his own campaign to have the film shown, has since found it was shown after all in March 1981, if later than in other parts of Britain.

There had been opposition from some councillors in Ceredigion to the film being shown on its release but eventually people had the chance to see it at Aberystwyth's Commodore cinema - although few seem to remember it.

Mr Hogan, 20, an international politics student at the town's university, spent two days researching the film's history in Aberystwyth at the National Library of Wales.

"It came as a shock to me when I discovered there wasn't a ban," he said.

"I'm a big Monty Python fan and set up a campaign on Facebook (the networking site) to lift the ban and as support grew I started my research.

"It's not clear why the film wasn't shown in the town in 1979 when it was released, but it was eventually shown after the district council set up a sub-committee to censor the film."

In 1979, opponents claimed Life of Brian made fun of Jesus, and they accused the Python team of blasphemy with its story about a Jewish man who was mistaken for the messiah and then crucified.

Some religious groups picketed cinemas which screened the film.

Ms Jones-Davies said she had been assured there was nothing standing in the way of showing Life of Brian in Aberystwyth in 2009.

"As far as we were aware, the film had been banned since 1979, but the main thing is it's being shown now, raising money for charity and celebrating the film's 30th anniversary."

Proceeds from March's screening will go to charities nominated by Terry Jones and Ms Jones-Davies.

The two Pythons and the mayor will also hold a question and answer session with fans following a champagne reception and the film.

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