Former Monty Python co-stars Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam are preparing for a stage showdown as they each launch their first operas in London.
The funnymen are directing productions at rival venues in the British capital - Jones has adapted his short story The Doctor's Tale for the Royal Opera House, while Gilliam's The Damnation of Faust opens at the London Coliseum.
The stars insist it is a coincidence that they are both taking on new opera ventures, but Jones reveals he has turned to opera fan Gilliam for support - because he's completely new to the genre.
He says, "We've been discussing our operas and how they are going... I've only been to two operas in my life - both quite recently. One was Rossini's Cinderella, but it was worse than a pantomime. Then I went to Anna Nicole at Covent Garden. I didn't really like the music and I found the dialogue a bit daft."
The Doctor's Tale will premiere next month (Apr11), while the curtain goes up on Gilliam's show in May (11).