Welcome to Slapstick 2024
Drum roll please as we unveil the exciting and star-studded programme for Slapstick 2024, including the long-awaited return of our cherished Gala to the venue where it all began, now renamed Bristol Beacon and looking and sounding truly glorious after its extensive refit.
As you flick through this festival guide you will find information on the 30+ unique comedy events we will be sharing during the five days from Wednesday 14 to Sunday 18 February in the company of such famous guests as Samira Ahmed, Hugh Bonneville, Marcus Brigstocke, Terry Gilliam, Harry Hill, Robert Lindsay, Sylvester McCoy, Lucy Porter, Tim Vine and Sir Michael Palin (to name just some).
Wednesday 14th Feb. (14:00 Watershed)
Beatrice Lillie was already a stage superstar and billed as ‘the funniest woman in the world’ when she made her Hollywood debut in this film
Wednesday 14th Feb. (16:15 Watershed)
National treasure Barry Cryer rarely missed a Slapstick festival and was as beloved by our audiences as he was by showbiz colleagues and the British public
Wednesday 14th Feb. (19:00 Bristol Beacon: Lantern Hall)
Kicking off Slapstick’s Comedy Horror strand, get ready for a spine-tingling night of laughter and suspense with the pioneering silent comedy-horror The Cat & The Canary
Wednesday 14th Feb. (21:30 Bristol Beacon: Lantern Hall)
Prepare to be both hilariously entertained and spooked to your core with the return of Slapstick Festival’s “Stranger Films” event, hosted by award-winning comedian/filmmaker and writer Alasdair Beckett-King
Thursday 15th Feb (11.30 Watershed)
Silent comedy superstar Buster Keaton continued working long after sound was added to pictures. Here Keaton researcher Polly Rose focuses on three films exemplifying the best of Keaton’s speaking roles
Thursday 15th Feb (13:45 Watershed)
Actor/comedian Lucy Porter introduces this silent romantic farce in which Marie Prevost marries Harrison Ford (Hollywood’s first of that name) only to divorce him after she discovers he’s secretly bought some daring female underwear
Thursday 15th Feb. (16:00 Watershed)
Halloween is past, but Ben Model and Steve Massa bring it back with a live performance of three surreal and scary shorts. A Fraternity Mixup (1926), Local Showers (1916), The Haunted House (1921)
Thursday 15th Feb. (18:00 Lantern Hall at Bristol Beacon)
Join Marcus Brigstocke, Andy Hollingworth & Matt Holt for the South West premiere of their new Laurel and Hardy doc
Thursday 15th Feb. (20:30 Lantern Hall at Bristol Beacon)
Broadcaster Samira Ahmed quizzes Graeme Garden on whether it is time to re-appraise the hit 1970s/80s TV series The Goodies
Friday 16th Feb. (09:30 Watershed)
Slapstick patron Marcus Brigstocke joins an enthusiastic panel of Stan & Ollie admirers hosted by Robin Ince as they revel in the global effort which has gone into finding and restoring the films made by Stan and Ollie in 1927
Friday 16th Feb. (11:40 Watershed)
Graeme Garden discovers why Charlie Chaplin once confessed Lloyd Hamilton was the comedy film actor he most envied
Friday 16th Feb. (13:30 Watershed)
Norma Talmadge is best-remembered for silent melodramas but she was a fine comedy actor, too, as proved by this Paris-set romcom.
Friday 16th Feb. (16:45 Watershed Cinema 3)
Keaton researcher Polly Rose hosts a live conversation direct from New York with Dana Stevens, author of the best-selling, rave reviewed, book Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema and the Invention of the Twentieth Century’
Friday 16th Feb. (19:30 Beacon Hall Bristol Beacon)
DOWNTON ABBEY, THE GOLD and PADDINGTON films star Hugh Bonneville introduces a triple bill of laugh-out-loud silent comedy classics, back in the auditorium where Slapstick began: THE GOLD RUSH (1925), COPS (1922), BIG BUSINESS (1929)
Saturday 17th Feb. (09:30 Watershed)
Christina Newland, lead film critic at the i Newspaper and contributing editor at Empire, in an hour long story-telling session about the hijinx, dangers, and sometimes not-at-all death-defying adventures in the early days of silent comedy and beyond.
Saturday 17th Feb. (09:45 Watershed Cinema 3)
A fun-for-all-the-family ‘relaxed screening’ of comedy horror masterpiece in which one of the USA’s most popular Slapstick comedy double acts takes delivery of new items for a horror museum only to find themselves besieged by dangers from Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and a werewolf.
Saturday 17th Feb. (11:30 The Lantern at Bristol Beacon)
This is only the second public big screen showing of FEARMOTH. Written, directed and starring Tim Vine and supported by John Archer and Mona Al-Habib Nmeir
Saturday 17th Feb. (14:00 The Lantern at Bristol Beacon)
Join us for a laugh-out loud afternoon as Mike McCartney hand picks his favourite Keaton short films, reminiscing from childhood.
Saturday 17th Feb. (16:00 The Lantern at Bristol Beacon)
Tim Vine shares video clips from his life and career where he falls over or does something physical in search of humour. As well as moments from Tim’s TV appearances this show includes previously unseen footage of Tim aged 18 being deliberately visual.
Saturday 17th Feb. (17:45 Lantern Hall, Bristol Beacon)
Step into the hilarious and heartwarming world of Harry Hill’s THE LAST CAVEMAN, a cinematic experience that will leave you smiling! It’s a lonely life being a caveman, especially if you believe you’re the last one on Earth.
Saturday 17th Feb. (19:45 Lantern Hall, Bristol Beacon)
Celebrating Sylvester McCoy, an actor probably best known now as the darkly clown-like 7th incarnation of The Doctor in the BBC TV series DOCTOR WHO, a role he has returned to several times, including in the reboot’s 2022
Saturday 17th Feb. (21:45 Lantern Hall, Bristol Beacon)
Step into a world where music, mystery, and mayhem collide in “Phantom of Paradise,” a cinematic masterpiece that transcends time and genre.
Sunday 18th Feb. (9.30am Watershed)
It has been called ‘the lost great sit-com’, ‘an unsung masterpiece’, ‘a delight’ and ‘ahead of its time’ but now you can enter the world of this lamentably short-lived Made In Bristol series
Sunday 18th Feb. (5.30pm Bristol Old Vic)
With a General Election looming, cast leaders Sir Michael Palin and Robert Lindsay join Alan Bleasdale to take a timely look back at his highly controversial dark comedy about political divisions and abuses of power.
Sunday 18th Feb. 20:30 – 22:00 Bristol Old Vic Theatre)
He is feted as one of the UK’s most versatile actors – justly praised for his performances in dramas, thrillers, biopics, musicals and Shakespeare plays on stage, film and TV
Sunday 18th Feb. (13:30 Studio, Bristol Old Vic)
Actor/impressionist Colin Elmer, who has played the unique and much beloved Kenneth Williams in many touring stage productions, including of Round The Horne, brings his one-man show to Bristol
Sunday 18th Feb. (16:30 Studio, Bristol Old Vic)
Taking Mark Twain’s advice “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story”, humourists Barnaby Eaton-Jones and Robert Hammond offer up an illustrated lecture delving into comedy’s history and introducing a hilarious cast of overlooked, and possibly spoof, comedians who never quite made it.
Sunday 18th Feb. (19:30 Studio, Bristol Old Vic)
Lucky Dog Theatre Productions return to Slapstick with a follow-up to their internationally loved and award-winning ‘Hats Off To Laurel And Hardy’
Sunday 18th Feb. (16:00 Bristol Old Vic)
Film and comedy enthusiasts have long marvelled at Terry Gilliam’s artistic, inventive imagery, and his ability to craft extraordinary worlds since his early days contributing animated content to the groundbreaking Do Not Adjust Your Set (1968) and the iconic Monty Python series (1969–1974)
Sunday 18th Feb. (12:00 Bristol Old Vic)
Slapstick dives into political dark comedy with a screening of Python Terry Gilliam’s uproarious , Orwell-influenced, satire of bureaucracy, technology, surveillance and more in the company of its Oscar-nominated and double BAFTA-winning director.
WELCOME TO SLAPSTICK 2024 Drum roll please as we unveil the exciting and star-studded programme for Slapstick 2024, including the long-awaited return of our cherished Gala to the venue where it all began, now renamed Bristol Beacon and looking and sounding truly glorious after its extensive refit. As you flick through this festival guide you […]
Join the team: Personal/Executive Assistant Slapstick Festival, a renowned celebration of silent, visual, and classic film comedy, is seeking a passionate and organised individual to fill the crucial role of Personal/Executive Assistant to the Director. This exciting opportunity offers a unique glimpse into the dynamic world of film festivals and entertainment, all while contributing to […]
Gender Rebels On Saturday 22nd April Slapstick presented a series of screen comedies at Watershed, Bristol examining how queer-coding and gender play was taking place onscreen as far back in the 1910s. With three films and three guests hosts feedback from attendees gave us rave reviews with over 85% saying they found the screening’s ‘excellent’. […]