A Poke in the Eye (With a Sharp Stick)

A Poke in the Eye (With a Sharp Stick)

:"This article is about the 1976 show that became the first of the legendary "Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit shows for Amnesty International".
:"For the unrelated 1988 indie album by an industrial rock band "PIG" - see: A Poke in the Eye... With a Sharp Stick (PIG album)"

A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick) is the title of the first show in what became the iconic "Secret Policeman's Ball" series of benefit shows for human rights organization Amnesty International.

The landmark 1976 show starring the Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and The Goodies teams led directly to the 1979 show The Secret Policeman's Ball - which in turn triggered the involvement of major rock stars such as Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Geldof in working for human rights cause.

The show took place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday April 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1976 as a series of late-night galas at Her Majesty's Theatre – a theatre in London’s West End theatre district. The show was directed by "Beyond The Fringe" alumnus Jonathan Miller.

The event was a comedy show featuring the cream of Britain's comedic performers of the 1960s and 1970s. The event was recorded for an album of the same name released in November 1976 by Transatlantic Records.

The event was also the subject of a film that documented the rehearsals and show performances. The resulting film was titled "Pleasure At Her Majesty's". It premiered in November 1976 at the 20th annual London Film Festival held at the National Film Theatre. The film was then screened on British TV by the BBC in December 1976. Subsequently the film received a modest theatrical release at ‘’art-house’’ cinemas in 1977.


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