by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 13 November 2005

John Cleese is currently in New Zealand performing in a five-week tour of his new "one-man" show John Cleese: His Life, Times, and Current Medical Problems.

“It’s a one-man show with several people in it,” said John Cleese in an official statement, “which pushes the envelope of acceptable behaviour in new and disgusting ways.”

The title, it was reported, was thought up because John needed one for New Zealand producer Adrian Bohm, who asked him to come. It proved prophetic as Cleese promptly fell ill shortly after and had to have 17 cm of his sigmoid colon removed due to diverticulitis. Cleese wanted to sell his ex-intestine on eBay, except the rules of the auction site forbid it.

The tour, which began November 7, features five other performers, as well as John's youngest daughter, 22-year-old Camilla (who also runs John's official website). She also co-developed the show with Cleese, having helped write some of the material.

John Cleese with his daughter Camilla
Photo Credit:

Also performing is 24-year-old New Zealand actor Jay Bunyan, who was allegedly a last minute replacement for an American actor. Jay flew from his acting gig in Australia to audition and got the part with only a week to go before the commencement of the tour.

Also involved in the show is screenplay writer and friend-of-Cleese William Goldman, who helped John refine some of the material this past summer. Australian actor/director Bille Brown, who performed with Cleese in the film Fierce Creatures, is directing the show.

According to John's recent newsletter, Camilla and other members of the troupe left L.A. on 24th October, bound for Auckland, New Zealand. John and Alyce Faye followed them on 27th, John's birthday, which was spent in the air. On the 31st, John participated in a press conference at The Hilton Hotel in Auckland. The event was done as a live stage interview, conducted by New Zealand actor and TV personality Oliver Driver.

The tour will take just over one month to complete, covering eight cities and 22 performances. Due to demand, the show was expanded beyond the original plan of 15 shows.

Depending on how things go in New Zealand, John may later take this show on the road to U.S. college campuses next year.

Cartoon by and © Murray Webb, 2005. Murray Webb is New Zealand's most respected caricature artist.

Here is the current schedule, with venues, of John Cleese's show:

  • INVERCARGILL - Civic Theatre
    • Monday 7th November
  • CHRISTCHURCH - Isaac Theatre Royal
    • Thursday 10th November
    • Friday 11th November
    • Saturday 12th November
    • Sunday 13th November
    • Monday 14th November
  • DUNEDIN - Regent Theatre
    • Friday 18th November
    • Saturday 19th November
  • WELLINGTON - Opera House
    • Monday 21st November
    • Tuesday 22nd November
    • Wednesday 23rd November
    • Thursday 24th November
  • PALMERSTON NORTH - Regent on Broadway
    • Saturday 26th November
  • NAPIER - Municipal Theatre
    • Monday 28th November
    • Tuesday 29th November
    • Wednesday 30th November
  • AUCKLAND - Town Hall
    • Saturday 3rd December
    • Sunday 4th December
    • Monday 5th December
    • Tuesday 6th December
    • Wednesday 7th December
  • NEW PLYMOUTH - TSB Theatre Showplace
    • Friday 9th December

If you happen to be in New Zealand and would like to buy tickets to the event, they can be purchased online here: