A Message from Barry Crimmins

Notes in the Guestbook - by Barry Crimmins
“Billy Bragg, Charlotte Church, Mark Thomas, Daniel Kiston, James Acaster and Josie Long are amongst the performers getting together at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 23rd october for a vry special night – “For Helen and Barry”.

Barry Crimmins has been an inspirational figure for many artists over the last thirty years. He has campaigned on many important issues. His wife, Helen, is currently battling cancer. The American healthcare system can be prohibitively expensive, hence the gig.

But Helen said she would like money raised to go to a Children’s cancer charity too, so we chose CLIC Sargent as the main beneficiary. It is going to be an incredible night of entertainment, so you will have fun and also know that all money raised will be going to helping and improving lives. (all acts, producers etc will be working for free. The only cost is theatre hire, everything after that goes to causes). Here are some words from Barry”. – Robin Ince

You’ve had enough bad news if they tell you you have cancer once. My wife Helen has, by my estimate, received the terrible news four times. Yet here she is — no small feat in the United States where profiteering scum bleeds the weakest among us dry. 

The latest and most awful diagnosis Helen has had leveled upon her is Stage 4 Lymphoma. As the dreadful cliche goes, there’s no Stage Five Lymphoma. Our hope now lies with research doctors at the University of Pennsylvania who we will see on October 31. Our faith and love remain strong. I have the added advantage of knowing I married one of the most resilient and dearest life forces on the face of the Earth. Because I make my money touring and I must be home with my darling, my dear friends across the drink (make mine a double) have put together a remarkable fundraiser featuring an all-star lineup of some of the most talented and socially conscious performing artists in Great Britain or anywhere.

That these dear friends are doing this for us in and of itself provides a major boost at a time when keeping our spirits up is almost as important as anything doctors and pharmacists can come up with. When Robin Ince and Mark Thomas told us they were putting the show together, we received a shot in the arm that didn’t hurt a bit. In fact, it felt great.

Because I have found some writing work I can do from home we are a bit less desperate than we were when this amazing show was originally planned. And so, at Helen’s insistence, this wonderful evening will also benefit children with cancer. (details here)

I also hope the evening serves to remind you that although your National Health Service is imperfect, it could never compound the ordeal that is cancer the way it is in the United States where medical care corporations, Big Pharma and insurance racketeers have no qualms about a bottom line that too often ends up being six feet under. I understand that your health care can be slow and there are sometimes long queues. Please stay in the queue and organize your fellow patients to demand an improved delivery system, facilities and staffing for the basic human right that is health care. It is better to be in line in a building then it is to be left out in the cold – a location Helen and so many Americans find themselves even when they’ve done all they can to protect themselves from needlessly early onset mortality.

Boundless thanks and mighty love to all the artists, support staff, media, online word-spreaders and particularly everyone who buys a ticket to this very special show.

Solidarity forever,

Barry Crimmins 

PS- And huge love and gratitude from my brave, dear and brilliant wife, Helen Crimmins

Can’t make the show? You can still donate here and to CLIC Sargent here.

Get tickets for the show here.

Read another message from Barry here.


Barry Crimmins was an American stand-up comedian, political satirist, author of Never Shake Hands with a War Criminal. In the 1990s he led a crusade against images of child abuse on the Internet, calling for police investigation of major US ISPs, in which he was victorious. Crimmins’s life and work in comedy and politics are the subject of the documentary by Bobcat Goldthwait titled Call Me Lucky.

Picture of Barry and Helen courtest @hcdarling