A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several... See full summary »
The film of an on-stage charity benefit for Amnesty International. The show includes comedy skits by the members of Monty Python, as well as noted comedians Peter Cook, Rowan Atkinson, and ... See full summary »
A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several Monty Python members, Rowan Atkinson, and Peter Cook. Written by
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It is perhaps a shame that Britain does not have something like the American Congress's official list of historically significant works of art. If there were, this show deserves framing as an iconic series of performances.
"The Secret Policeman's Ball" was the second benefit performance for the charity, Amnesty International. It followed the earlier "Pleasure at her Majesty's" in 1976. The Ball featured a most effective mix of old and new blood; from the old stable, several of the Pythons, Peter Cook at the height of his comic and satirical powers; from the new stable, Billy Connolly and Rowan Atkinson.
There were some old favourites among the acts (the "Four Yorkshiremen" and Python's "Cheese Shop"), but some of the new acts and sketches were inspired. In particular, Rowan Atkinson's sardonic "Schoolmaster", and Peter Cook's "Entirely a Matter for you", written specially for the occasion.
There is a minor musical landmark, with Pete Townsend (of the Who) reportedly forced to play acoustic rather than amplified for the first time in his life, alongside classical guitarist John Williams.
In later years, the subsequent Policeman's Balls were seen as a showcase for new talent with the result that several acts became over-the-top and hammed.
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