Articles and Stories
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’. […]
Slapstick Sgt. Pepper’s Competition There’s been so much interest in the Sgt Pepper-esque image created by Keith Kilpin of Aardman for the cover of the Slapstick 2023 brochure and other publicity print that we’ve decided to make it the subject of a Guess Who competition. To enter, study the original artwork, then turn to the […]
Welcome to the 19th edition of Bristol’s very own Silent, Visual and Classic Comedy Festival. Music has been a key ingredient of every Slapstick since the festival began, but for our 19th annual edition, we’re giving it extra special attention.
Monday 7th November 2022 (7.30pm)
Slapstick Festival’s annual comedy fundraiser returned to Reading’s Hexagon theatre. Event features, Alan Davies, Ed Byrne, Stephen K. Amos, jay Lafferty and more
To those who came to see us in 2022, we hope you had a fantastic time! If you want to remind yourself of the great events we put on as part of our Slapstick 2022 season HERE’S HOW!
The Tiswas Team receive their Legacy Awards, given in recognition of creating significant new work in the medium of silent and visual comedy
Tiswas Stars Reunite for One-Off Reunion Our slapstick season finished on an absolute high, with the stars of the classic children’s TV series Tiswas reuniting for an evening of fun and mayhem. Chris Tarrant, Sally James, John Gorman and Bob Carolgees, along with Spit the Dog, were among those that took to the stage on […]
Slapstick Sunday Our last full day of festival events began with Paddington (2014), introduced by Andy Day, and concluded with Lee Mack’s hilarious Desert Island Comedy Flicks. In between there was a moving tribute to the late great Barry Cryer hosted by his friend and long-time comic collaborator Les Dennis, with Barry’s Son Bob Cryer […]
Hello everyone, As you will no doubt have heard, yesterday we learnt the news that we had lost singular comedy genius and very dear festival friend, Barry Cryer.
We have screening notes for a number of our programmes, you will find them on the programme pages for the individual films.
Since I reported the results of my researches into the brief career and subsequent total oblivion
Someone recently posted on You-tube a recording from an old 8” low-cost shellac gramophone disc released in 1930.
For years animation has been one of the most impressive and entertaining disciplines in cinema.
Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin. All three began their careers more than a century ago
By Pamela Hutchinson
Plus our fabulous festival guide
For those who have never delved into the history of silent comedy, Chaplin’s life started with great upheaval. He was born in 1889 to Hannah Chaplin and Charles Chaplin, Senior
Charlie first performed at the age of twelve, when he got a chance to act in a stage show. He left school permanently at thirteen and followed his ambition to become an actor.
On 30th December 2019, we learnt the sad news that Neil Innes, long-time friend and supporter of the festival, had sadly passed away.
Charlie Chaplin, one of cinema’s most famous stars, was a man of many talents… actor, director, writer, and composer are among his many credits.
THREE AGES (1923) Directed by Buster Keaton USA 63 mins U Three Ages is the first feature-length film that Buster Keaton wrote, directed, produced and starred. The film contains three different stories set in three different time periods of human history: the Stone Age, ancient Rome, and modern times (the Jazz Age). The film was […]
SO FUNNY IT HURT: BUSTER KEATON AND MGM (2004) Directed by Kevin Brownlow UK 38 mins U Buster Keaton is currently the most popular comedian of the silent era. But in the late 20s, he was giving anxiety to his producer, Joseph M. Schenck. Schenck decided that since his releases for United Artists were not as […]
THE VAGABOND QUEEN (1929) Directed by Géza von Bolváry UK 62 mins U This unparalleled essay in European absurdism was one of the most regrettable casualties of the coming of sound. Released as a silent in May 1929, it was re-issued with synchronized music and sound effects in August 1930 – but too late. Variety, […]
SKINNER’S DRESS SUIT (1926) Directed by William A. Seiter USA 70 mins PG This show is intended to revive the reputation of a comedian of the silent era – not on the scale of a Lloyd or a Keaton, but extremely amusing and entertaining in his own right. I have several of his Universal comedies […]
SPITE MARRIAGE (1929) Directed by Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton USA 76 mins PG Spite Marriage is the tale of a tailor who is madly in love with an actress… so in love, that he’s gone to see her play countless times! He is given the chance to marry the woman of his dreams, but […]
It’s Just a Jump to the Left! Slapstick 2018 is just around the corner! We’ve got so many great events in January to help brighten those cold winter days and nights! Make sure you check out our full programme as we have four days chock-full of laughs, music and classic comedy with some great special […]
Slapstick and Mr. Punch January is just around the corner! We are busy, busy, busy in Slapstick HQ getting everything prepped for the festival. One of the new additions to our programme this year is called Young Slapstick! The events are happening on Saturday the 27th and it is a great way to introduce the […]
Why is Slapstick Violence Funny? The subject of this post was originally going to be on an entirely different topic, which will be saved for a later time! When I was doing research for that topic, I came across this TedxEmory talk on YouTube. The title of this video is, “Technology and the New Aesthetics […]
Lucy and Ethel – Sitcom’s Best Friends Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance created one of television’s most enduring comic duos – Lucy and Ethel. Lucy and Ethel were neighbours and best friends on the beloved sitcom, I Love Lucy. The two were constantly getting into trouble with all of Lucy’s crazy schemes! I remember growing […]
Anita Garvin and Marion Byron – A Classic Comedy Duo I hope everyone has seen our exciting event coming up in June! It’s so great that we will be able to present the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend award to that fantastic comedic duo, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders! The event has now sold out… so […]
It all started with Alice… One of the tasks that I’m doing for the festival now is organising its DVD library. It is very interesting going through all the titles… I enjoy coming across new and different films. One of the discs that I was reviewing contained two of Walt Disney’s very early animated shorts. […]
Max Linder – French Silent Star One of my favourite events from the festival was the screening of Max Linder’s Seven Years Bad Luck. David Robinson’s excellent introduction gave some insight into what had been a very troubled life for the early silent film star. If you weren’t at the event, I thought I would […]
A Bit About The Freshman Last month, Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman was screened at our annual Silent Comedy Gala. I thought I’d take a moment to share some trivia about it. “The more trouble you get a man into, the more comedy you get out of him” – Harold Lloyd A little bit of trivia: […]
A Few Reviews Has it really been five days since the festival ended? Just thought I’d post few links to some reviews and articles that were written about our events! Please make sure you read a summary of the festival from Festival Director, Chris Daniels, that is available on our homepage. It’s great to read […]
“My dear old grandma, a woman who otherwise betrayed very little sense of humour, would shake with laughter, tears rolling down her cheeks, as she re-enacted the scene in The Gold Rush where Chaplin eats his boot.”
Keaton/Beckett Wow! It’s been a freezing start to January in Bristol. What’s amazing about January? Hopefully, you are reading this post as a festival fan! It’s now less than two weeks until Slapstick Festival 2017! There is such a great line-up of events this year. Make sure to check out the programme! I thought I’d […]
VICTORIA WOOD SAVES SLAPSTICK EVENT Chris was surprised and delighted when the comedian offered her time for free at short notice. Despite her amazing talent, Chris reported that “she was a comedy legend, but really nice, down-to-earth and humble. She would be incredibly nervous before she had to get on stage, but, as soon as she started, […]
In Photos: When Victoria Wood Hosted The 2013 Slapstick Festival Gala Back in 2012 we were thrilled and excited when the one and only Victoria Wood agreed to host our 2013 gala. As expected she hit the ball out of the park, taking on the roll with aplomb, insight, laughs galore and, of course, professionalim. […]
Ian Lavender: Why I Love Ben Turpin Sun 24th Jan | St. George’s | 12:40PMTickets: £5.00/£7.50/£12.00 Under 12s £6.00 Ben Turpin is one of our finest and most neglected on-screen performers. With his trademark crossed eyes and thick moustache he made scores of classic slapstick films alongside the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and […]
Hooray For Harold Lloyd, Barry Cryer and Friends! Sun 24th Jan | St. George’s | 2:30PMTickets: £15.00/£12.00/£6.00 (plus booking fee) Join us for a classic double bill of Lloyd’s finest onscreen comedy hosted by ‘king of the one liners’ and national treasure Barry Cryer. Harold appears in two of his finest comedy shorts ‘Now or […]
Slapstick Pre-Festival Launch Event Fri 4th December, 8pm £7-£19.50 We’re thrilled to announce that one of the UK’s best loved entertainers, Matt Lucas, is coming to Bristol for a special Slapstick Festival launch event this December to be held in the beautiful St Georges. Matt is famous for his own brand of slapstick comedy, and has starred in […]