This Is Spinal Tap

This Is Spinal Tap

With specially recorded introductions from Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls) and Sir Michael Palin

Date: Weds 15 Feb 2023
Time: 20:30 hrs
Venue: The former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium
Price: £10 adults / £5 under 16
Dir: Rob Reiner
USA (1984), 82 mins, cert 15

Included in the Slapstick 2023 line-up at the express request of guest curator Sir Michael Palin, who chose the film as his favourite film comedy, Rob Reiner’s 11 out of 10 deserving mockumentary is a scathing lampoon of every heavy metal band that’s ever taken itself too seriously and of rock music documentaries in general.

With a sequel reportedly on the way (with Reiner again in charge and Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer reprising their characters) there’s no better time to revel in this big-screen outing of a film hailed by Rotten Tomatoes critics as “Smartly directed, brilliantly acted, and packed with endlessly quotable moments … an all-time comedy classic.”

With video introductions from Sir Michael and from Harry Shearer, whose many film and TV credits include playing the band’s bassist Derek Smalls and voicing multiple characters in The Simpsons,

RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 30 mins.

This is spinal tap film
spinal tap Derek Smalls Harry Shearer

East Of Ipswich (1987)

East Of Ipswich (1987)

With a specially recorded introduction from Sir Michael Palin

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023.
Time: 09:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50 / £5.00
Dir: Tristram Powell
UK, 75 mins. Cert 12

A comedy coming-of-age film, scripted by Michael Palin for BBC 2’s Screen Two series and inspired in part by his family holiday to a sleepy seaside resort in 1959, during which he first met his future wife.

Described by many as an overlooked gem and by Sir Michael as his “happiest creative project”. The plot brings together a formidable guest house landlady (Joan Sanderson); parents bewildered by changing attitudes and teenage hormones (Pat Heywood/ John Nettleton), a clergyman running a youth mission, a fanciable neighbour, a new friend preoccupied with girls and an unexpectedly liberated Dutch girl.

Introduced by Andrew Kelly and in collaboration with Bristol Ideas.

RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 20 mins.

east of ipswich Palin

Monty Python & The Holy Grail

Monty Python & The Holy Grail

With specially recorded introductions from Sir Michael Palin & John Cleese

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023
Time: 17:30 hrs
Venue: The former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium
Price: £15.00/£10.00
Dir: Terry Gilliam / Terry Jones
UK (1975), 91 mins, cert 12A

A big screen showing of the Flying Circus squad’s first ‘proper’ feature kicks off our series of ‘Palin & Python’ events.

A silly, ingeniously funny and visually lovely skewing of the Arthurian legend. One count says it contains 527 jokes, or roughly one every 10 seconds, guaranteeing it a top 10 place in numerous all-time best comedy film lists.

Michael Palin, now a real knight, plays the most roles – 12 – and Sir Not-To-Be-Seen-In-This-Film is his then infant son, William.

A cult comedy classic.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 40 mins

Palin Cleese Idle Holy Grail

A Private Function (1984)

A Private Function (1984)

With specially recorded introduction from Sir Michael Palin

Date: Fri 17th Feb, 2023
Time: 09:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50 / £5.00
Dir: Malcolm Mowbray
UK (1984), 92 mins, cert 15

Slapstick’s 80th birthday salute to comedy legend Sir Michael Palin continues with some of his personal favourite starring films.

This big screen showing of an Alan Bennett scripted comedy is set in Yorkshire in 1947, when post-WW2 Britain was still experiencing strict meat rationing.

Local bigwigs are planning a feast to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Betty, a secretly-raised pig, is destined to be the meal’s main course. But the plans go awry when Betty is stolen, inspiring deeds and dialogue reminiscent of an Ealing Comedy.

A deserved winner of multiple awards with an exceptional cast headed by Sir Michael, Dame Maggie Smith and Denholm Elliott.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 35 mins

A private function 1984

The Rutles: All You Need is Cash

The Rutles: All You Need is Cash

Introduction from John “Barry Wom” Halsey

Date: Sun 19th Feb, 2023
Time: 09:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

This is the Eric Idle/ Neil Innes cult classic mockumentary which paved the way for all others, including This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and The Comic Strip’s Bad News(1983) and More Bad News (1988).
A brilliant comedy spoof of Beatlemania, it charts the rise, falls and fallings out of the ‘Pre-Fab Four’ with 20 Neil Innes songs not only instantly recognisable as parodies of Beatles’ hits but also pitch-perfect in their own right. Innes is a natural as
Ron Nasty (John), whilst Idle plays the band’s Paul-like frontman Dirk McQuicky as part of a world-class cast which also includes Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Barry Cryer, George Harrison, Bianca Jagger, Bill Murray and Michael Palin himself. We’re delighted
to have John Halsey AKA Barry Wom (Ringo) appearing in person for a pre-screening discussion with Fab Fools author Jem Roberts – celebrating this timeless mockumentary classic.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 2 hrs

All you need is cash Rutles

Monty Python’s Book Shambles

book shambles slapstick
book shambles slapstick
book shambles slider

Monty Python’s Book Shambles

Hosted by Robin Ince and special guests Jem Roberts and Oliver Double

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 2pm
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £10.00

Be part of the participating audience at a recording for a Monty Python-themed future edition of the chart-topping podcast.

It will start with Robin Ince and special guests diving into books by, about inspired by or an influence on the Monty Python’s Flying Circus team but – be aware – tangents cannot be ruled out! 

RUNNING TIME 1 hr 

Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN onscreen

Michael Palin image
Michael Palin image
Michael Palin slider

Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN onscreen

with Sir Michael Palin and Stephen Merchant

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 5.30pm
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £22.00/£18.00/£15.00

A big screen showing of the film that sparked international controversy – and hilarity – by telling the story of Brian of Nazareth, born on the same day as Jesus, in the stable next door, but who most definitely was not the Messiah.

Life Of Brian stars all six members of the Monty Python team portraying a total of 40 characters.

The screening will be hosted by Stephen Merchant and will begin with a brief on-stage chat with Sir Michael, sharing anecdotes from the making of the film, some home movie footage and explaining why he still considers it the most accomplished of the Python movies.

(Director: Terry Jones, UK, 1979, 94 mins, certificate 12A)

RUNNING TIME 1 hr 50 mins

SOLD OUT

MICHAEL PALIN: Beyond Python

Rob Brydon and Michael Palin BOV slapstick
Rob Brydon and Michael Palin BOV slapstick
Rob Brydon and Michael Palin slider

Michael Palin: Beyond Python

In Conversation with Rob Brydon

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 8.30pm
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £37.00/£30.00/£23.00

He may be best known for his work with Monty Python but Sir Michael Palin (80 in May) has a long and distinguished track record as a comedy writer and performer, from penning gags for the likes of Ken Dodd and Roy Hudd and being in TV’s Do Not Adjust Your Set ensemble in the 1960s, to roles in Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin (2017) and the Michael Sheen/David Tennant lockdown project Staged (2021).

Here, Rob Brydon probes Michael for insights and anecdotes about this outstanding legacy and what comes next, promising illuminating conversation and laugh-out-loud banter.

RUNNING TIME 1 hr 20 mins

SOLD OUT