Copyright Handmade Films/Paragon Entertainment
Sue Jones-Davies (right), the mayor of the town of Aberystwyth in Wales, played Judith Iscariot in Life of Brian. She says she's happy the ban on the film has expired.
Sue Jones-Davies (right), the mayor of the town of Aberystwyth in Wales, played Judith Iscariot in Life of Brian. She says she's happy the ban on the film has expired. Copyright Handmade Films/Paragon Entertainment
There are always laws on the books that rarely are enforced. In 1979, the Welsh town of Aberystwyth banned the showing of Monty Python's Life of Brian — the zany British troupe's film satire of the life of Jesus and many other things sacred. The law has since expired, and later this month, the movie will be screened for the first time in the town.
Sue Jones-Davies, the town's mayor, says she was unaware of the ban when she first took office.
"When I became mayor, someone contacted me and asked did I know it had been banned," she recalls. "And we did some research and found that it had been banned. Aberystwyth had a lot of chapels and churches 30 years ago, so it seemed perfectly plausible that it would have been."
Jones-Davies found the ban especially interesting because she actually had a part in the film — she played Brian's girlfriend, Judith Iscariot. But that didn't contribute to the change in rules, she says.
"I didn't lift it; it just sort of faded away. Over time, it just dissolved. We thought it might be a nice gesture before my year of office was up to show the film, since it is also the film's 30th anniversary."
Jones-Davies says the town has planned a screening of the film on March 28, to be followed by a question-and-answer session with ex-Python members Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
Jones-Davies says the town has rallied together in the excitement.
"It's generated a lot of interest and really put us on the map."