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Festival Schedule - New York

The Second Pair of Balls!
Two US Premieres!
Double-bill of the two Balls that showcased the new wave of British comedy
Series co-creator Martin Lewis in-person

Tuesday June 30, 2009 - 2:30 pm
Lincoln Center, New York City


(1979, 91 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Roger Graef)

The first show (and film) with the famous title that gave its name to the entire series. The June 1979 stage show was "slightly directed" by Cleese - features half the Monty Pythons, plus Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, Billy Connolly and the breakthrough debut of Rowan Atkinson who dazzles in solo slots and in ensemble work with the Pythons and Peter Cook. It includes what most critics consider to be Peter Cook's finest performance - his savage satire of one of Britain's most salacious political sex scandals. (A skit that is hysterically funny even without knowledge of the details.) The film also captures the start of what has became the rock community's long-running support for Amnesty with stunning acoustic performances by The Who's Pete Townshend - simultaneously birthing the "unplugged" phenomenon that followed. This is the original, uncut 1980 UK film - never released theatrically in the US. Includes 20 minutes cut from the DVD version.


(1981, 99 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Julien Temple)

The really big show - co-directed by Cleese who revived several classic skits for the event from his pre-Python stint with Graham Chapman in the legendary "At Last The 1948 Show." Features three Monty Pythons (Cleese, Chapman, Palin), Billy Connolly, the BBC's "Not The 9 'O Clock News" team and newcomers Victoria Wood and Alexei Sayle. Cleese also teams up with the newer generation including Rowan Atkinson. Series co-creator Martin Lewis built on his inclusion of Pete Townshend in the 1979 show by recruiting a slew of established rockers (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Donovan) and then-emerging talent (Sting, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof) to the Amnesty cause for memorable musical interludes that inspired Live Aid creator Geldof to follow suit. Director Julien Temple ("Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle", "Absolute Beginners") was brought in to add cinematic flair to the filming. This is the original, uncut 1982 UK film - never released theatrically in the US. (Not to be confused with the quite different US version of the film released by Miramax in 1982.)

Today's Stars!

Comedic Performers:
Rowan AtkinsonAlan BennettJohn BirdEleanor BronTim Brooke-TaylorKen CampbellGraham ChapmanJohn CleeseBilly ConnollyPeter CookJohn FortuneClive JamesTerry JonesChris LanghamSylvester McCoyMichael PalinDavid RappaportGriff Rhys JonesAlexei SaylePamela StephensonJohn WellsVictoria Wood

Rock Musicians:
Jeff BeckEric ClaptonPhil CollinsDonovanBob GeldofTom RobinsonThe Secret PoliceStingPete TownshendJohn Williams

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