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Before The Balls!
Double-bill of the first two shows before they had the "Ball" title
Two US Premieres!
Series co-creator/co-producer Martin Lewis in-person

Friday June 26, 2009 - 2:00 pm
Lincoln Center, New York City

PLEASURE AT HER MAJESTY'S

(1976, 101 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Roger Graef)

Film of the very first Amnesty benefit show - a direct progenitor of "The Secret Policeman's Ball". The show was instigated by John Cleese who rounded up his friends from Monty Python and other Brit-com luminaries including Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, Neil Innes, & Dame Edna for an historic gathering of the British comedic tribes performing their 'Greatest Hits'. The stage show, directed by Beyond The Fringe's Jonathan Miller was originally titled "A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)" by Cleese. Setting the pattern for future shows, collaborations abound with Pythons and Beyond-The-Fringers guesting in each other's skits. Peter Cook becomes an honorary Python, Terry Jones joins Beyond The Fringe. Verite director Roger Graef captured the live show and also documented the preparations, rehearsals and between-the-skits dressing room banter. This will be the US Theatrical Premiere of the original, uncut 1976 UK film


John Cleese and Peter Cook on a park bench for Amnesty

THE MERMAID FROLICS

(1977, 52 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Roger Graef)

TV special of the 1977 Amnesty benefit stage-directed by Monty Python's Terry Jones. It features very rare John Cleese performances - teamed with his then-wife Connie Booth of "Fawlty Towers" fame - and with one of his hero/role-models - Jonathan Miller. Plus Peter Cook, Terry Jones, Peter Ustinov, Sue Jones-Davies (Judith in "Life Of Brian") and Julie Covington ("Rock Follies" and the very first Evita). Never seen in any format in the USA. Never on VHS. Never on DVD. This will be the US Premiere of the film in any media and its World Theatrical Premiere.


Today's Stars!

Comedic Performers:
Alan BennettBeyond The FringeJohn BirdConnie BoothEleanor BronTim Brooke-TaylorGraham ChapmanJohn CleeseCarol ClevelandPeter CookDame EdnaJohn FortuneGraeme GardenTerry GilliamThe GoodiesNeil InnesDes JonesTerry JonesJonathan LynnJonathan MillerBill OddieMichael PalinMonty PythonPeter Ustinov

Rock Musicians:
Pete AtkinJulie CovingtonSue Jones-DaviesJohn Williams



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