English humour will be celebrated at a series of events marking St George’s Day including a City Hall exhibition of portraits of British comedians mounted by leading independent photographic press agency and picture library Rex Features.
The free exhibition runs from today, Friday 13th April, until Wednesday 25 April and features rarely seen photos of such legendary figures as Tony Hancock, Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howerd, and more recent kings and queens of comedy including Catherine Tate, Lenny Henry, Peter Kay, Shazia Mirza and Simon Pegg.
To celebrate St George’s Day itself – Monday 23 April – Trafalgar Square will host a free programme of classic film and television comedy culminating in a special screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and a ‘coconut orchestra’ world record attempt involving cast members of West End hit, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT.
Organised by the Mayor of London, in association with the BFI, Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, the programme will include a compilation of well known TV comedy clips as well as a supporting programme from the BFI National Archive and a number of silent films showing London across the 20th century.
Sunday sees Shakespeare’s Globe hosting its popular family day plus a celebration of the Bard’s birthday – which is shared with St George’s Day – featuring silent films projected onto the exterior wall of the Globe theatre (Monday 23 April).
Further activities are planned on Saturday 21 April in Covent Garden and at the Cenotaph, organised by the Royal Society of St George.
Mayor Ken Livingstone said he invited “Londoners from every background to join in the celebrations.”