British Universities Film & Video Council

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Secret Policeman’s Ball, The

Alternative title
Schoolmaster
Synopsis
A comedy gala to benefit Amnesty International staged at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. The evening consisted of comedy sketches and music. One sketch, written by Richard Sparks, features Atkinson as a gowned schoolteacher talking to his pupils after having marked the set essay ‘Discuss the contention that Cleopatra had the body of a roll-top desk and the mind of a duck’. Part of his address is as follows: ‘If Shakespeare had meant Antony and Cleopatra to be funny, he would have put a joke in it. There is no joke in Antony and Cleopatra. You would know that if you’d read it, wouldn’t you, Babcock? Pest! Which of Shakespeare’s plays does have a joke in it? Anyone? The Comedy of Errors, for God’s sake! The Comedy of Errors has the joke of two people looking like each other. Twice. It’s not that funny, German. And the other Shakespearian joke is, Nibble? NIBBLE! Leave Orifice alone! What a lot! All right, for the rest of this period, you will right about Enobarbus. Under-Manager, just try and write, "Enobarbus". Either way up, boy, I’m not bothered. Usual rules; no eating, no cheating, no looking out of windows, no slang, no slide rules. Use ink only, via a nib if possible... Kosygin, you’re in charge’.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1979
Recording date
Jun 1979
Duration
94 mins; 8505 feet

Credits

Director
Roger Graef
Producer
Roger Graef; Thomas Schwalm
Cinematographer
Clive Tickner; Ernest Vincze; Pasco MacFarlane
Writer
Richard Sparks
Cast
Rowan Atkinson 

Additional Details

Production type
Other
Plays
Antony and Cleopatra
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
The sketch may be viewed online at http://www.amnesty.org.uk/secretpolice/archive.asp (accessed 10/2007).
General
The gala was directed for stage by John Cleese.

Production Company

Name

Films of Record

Email
janeb@filmsofrecord.com
Web
http://www.filmsofrecord.com External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7286 0333
Fax
020 7286 0444
Address
6 Anglers Lane
London
NW5 3DG

Sponsor

Name

Amnesty International

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.co.uk

Web
http://www.amazon.co.uk External site opens in new window

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 992 times.