Monthly Archives: October 2006

The Secret Policeman’s Ball 2006 cinecast

Last Saturday evening we toddled back down to Harbour Lights (our local Picture House cinema) to watch the live cinecast of The Secret Policeman’s Ball (comedy gig by Amnesty International to Protect the Human). It was so good that I’d have blogged about it as soon as I got home except that my PC had broken down (later found to be a dodgy PSU :-S ) and, to be honest, it was past my bedtime and I fell asleep.Protect the Human campaign badge

I only saw the old ‘Balls’ in the past couple of years when Tony bought a boxed set of them on DVD. Watching it live was even more fun though. The show was performed at the Royal Albert Hall and then cinecast live to 17 Picture House cinemas around the country.

The whole thing was pretty slick and the technology didn’t let it down. Not quite sure how it all worked but the sound and picture was good and only very occasionally did the picture flicker to show that there was some disturbance. The doors opened at 7pm and due to start at 7.30pm. From 7pm there was an analogue clock displayed on the screen counting down with witty comments alongside it as 7.30pm came and went.

It finally got going about quarter to eight…and just kept going until the interval…and then on till midnight.

Each half kicked off with music; the first half by the Zutons and the second by The Magic Numbers. They were good but probably sounded better if you were in the hall with them – I think being on a flat screen lost something there.

The comedy was ace though. Like Andrew Maxwell (who was v. good even though no one had heard of him before), Russell Brand, Jessica Stevenson, Ronnie Ancona and John Colshaw, Sarah Silverman, Seth Green, Eddie Izzard (who was back on form after his disappointing Sexie DVD, IMHO)…and special mention goes to Dave Armand and Natalie Imbruglia who were just so funny miming to Torn.

Apparently, the edited show is going to be shown on Channel 4 on 31st October. At 4-5 hours running time it must be pretty heavily edited so I’m just glad we got to see the unedited version…so nah-nah-na-nah-naaah! 😉

Protect the Human campaign badgeAnd in the serious bit at the end where Jeremy Irons talked passionately about why the Ball was there at all (so serious that he didn’t even make any jokes about torture, rape or murder!), everyone in the cinema was so involved (having been laughing, clapping, and cheering the whole way through), that everyone stood up when he asked us to and signed postcards to support Amnesty’s Protect the Human campaign to prevent or resolve human rights abuses going on today.