The Secret Policeman's Ball

From Academic Kids

The Secret Policeman's Ball is the collective name for a series of fund raising performances featuring big-name comedians and musicians and other celebrities, held at various London venues, and once at a Nottingham television studio, to raise money for (and awareness of) Amnesty International.

Featured artists

Amongst the contributions were comedic performances by Monty Python team of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, three quarters of the Beyond the Fringe team: Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett (Dudley Moore was persuaded to feature in 1989's The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball only), Rowan Atkinson (including a debut as a sarcastic headmaster reading a register of ridiculous names), Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Eleanor Bron, Connie Booth, Alexei Sayle, Victoria Wood, Ruby Wax, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Lenny Henry, and musical performances from Bob Geldof, John Williams, Pete Townshend, Joan Armatrading and Sting (including a solo performance of Message In A Bottle) —though the two types of performance were not always distinguishable!

Performances

All of these performances were filmed or videotaped and subsequently released to cinema or video. More recently they have been available, together with a compilation of musical items from the various shows, on a set of region zero (international) DVDs entitled The Secret Policeman's Ball: The Complete Edition.

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