Tiswas: The Reunion

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Tiswas: The Reunion

Date: Sat 16th April 2022
Time: 20:00pm
Venue Website: St Georges Bristol
Map: St Georges Bristol
Price: £12-£25 Plus booking fees

In collaboration with Bristol Festival of Ideas and for one night only, a unique opportunity to see TV comedy legends Bob Carolgees, John Gorman, Sally James and Chris Tarrant as they re-unite on stage to discuss their much-loved show Tiswas.

It’s been 40 years this April since the launch of the programme, a Saturday-morning highlight for many children – and perhaps even more adults – from 1974 to 1982.  This is a rare chance to see all four Bucketeers together in person as they share their Tiswas memories with Bristol Ideas Director and passionate fan of the show, Andrew Kelly.

The performers will be presented with Slapstick’s Comedy Legacy Medal for their phenomenal achievement in comedy which followed in the footsteps of the late great silent comics but with their own brand of anarchic/slapstick humour – from the Dying Fly and Spit the Dog to the Phantom Flan Flinger and endless custard pies.

In support of Children’s Hospice South West.

The Big Comedy Bash 2022

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The Big Comedy Bash 2022

Date: Tuesday 12th April 2022
Time: 20:00
Venue: Hexagon: Queen Walk, Reading. RG1 7UA
Price: £24.50 / £22.50 (including booking fees)

Hosted by Al Murray, with the following acts: Angela Barnes, Rory Bremner, Shazia Mirza (plus two more names TBA).

Slapstick Festival’s annual comedy fundraiser is back at Reading’s Hexagon theatre for a fourth year running and this line-up is better than ever!

Six standout stand up comedians top the bill at this one off evening of mirth and laughter – and all to raise funds for Slapstick, the not-for-profit silent/classic comedy festival that’s been celebrating the finest in vintage comedy for almost two decades. 

Hosted by the comedy legend Al Murray’s Pub Landlord, Al will be introducing a bevy of top comic talent for the evening including the Impressionist and satirist Rory Bremner, award-winning “live at the Apollo’ star Angela Barnes, the trailblazing iconoclast and stand-up comedian Shazia Mirza, stand-up comedian and talented mimics Luke Kempner, and winner of the Mercury Comedian of the Year award Alasdair Beckett-King

Join us for this unforgettable night of laughter and fun.  

Trafic (1971)

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Trafic (1971)

Date: Sat 2 April 2022
Time: 6.00pm
Venue Website: Arnolfini
Map: Arnolfini
Price: £8.50 / £6.00 concs

Over looked by many, Tati’s Trafic sees the bumbling Monsieur Hulot, kitted out as always with tan raincoat, beaten brown hat, and umbrella, take to Paris’s highways and byways.

In this, his final outing, Hulot is employed as an auto company’s director of design, and accompanies his new product (a “camping car” outfitted with absurd gadgetry) to an auto show in Amsterdam.

Naturally, the road there is paved with modern-age mishaps. This late-career delight is a masterful demonstration of the comic genius’s expert timing and sidesplitting knack for visual gags, and a bemused last look at technology run amok.

Trafic 1971

Playtime (1967)

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Playtime (1967) + Onstage Discussion

Date: Sat 2 April 2022
Time: 2.15pm
Venue Website: Arnolfini
Map: Arnolfini
Price: £8.50 / £6.00 concs

Jacques Tati’s gloriously choreographed, nearly wordless comedies about confusion in an age of high technology reached their apotheosis with his 1967 film Playtime.

For this monumental achievement, a nearly three-year-long, bank-breaking production, Tati again thrust the lovably old-fashioned Monsieur Hulot, along with a host of other lost souls, into a baffling modern Parisian world.

With every inch of its super wide frame crammed with hilarity and inventiveness, Playtime is a lasting record of a modern era tiptoeing on the edge of oblivion.

Introduced by Matthew Sweet (Radio 4’s Free Thinking) and followed by an onstage conversation with Matthew hosted by festival of ideas Director Andrew Kelly discussing Tati’s legacy.

playtime 1

Mon Oncle (1958)

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Mon Oncle (1958)

Date: Sat 2 April 2022
Time: 11.15am
Venue Website: Arnolfini
Map: Arnolfini
Price: £8.50 / £6.00 concs

Slapstick prevails when Jacques Tati’s hero Monsieur Hulot is set loose in Villa Arpel, the geometric, oppressively ultramodern home of his brother-in-law in the suburbs of Paris. Young Gérard Arpel is very fond of his gauche uncle and the children in his neighbourhood but his disapproving parents resolve to get Hulot a job or a wife.

The disastrous outcome is a masterpiece of design and symmetry and of technically brilliant gags.

The heart-warming ending is true to Tati’s vision of the modern world as a confusing place that is ultimately full of charm and humanity.Jaques Tati’s multi-award-winning third feature, Mon Oncle is his first colour film and is a supremely amusing satire of mechanized living and consumer society that earned the director the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
With specially recorded onscreen introduction from film historian and archivist Serge Bromberg.

mon oncle

Tati Day: Pass to all 3 films

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Tati Day: Pass to all 3 films

Date: Sat 2 April 2022
Time: 11:15 – 20:20
Price: £20.00 / £15.00 concs

  1. Mon Oncle (1958): Film screening with introduction (U / France / 117 mins) 11:15-13:30
  2. Playtime (1967): Film screening with introduction and discussion (U / France / 124 mins) 14:30-17:15
  3. Trafic (1971): Film screening with introduction (PG / France / 96 mins) 18:30-20:20

Watch all three films with our Tati Day Pass, alternatively you can buy a ticket for each fim separately.

Jaques Tati playtime website internal

This programme is part of Opening Up the Magic Box, a heritage element of Film 2021 which marks the centenary of the death of Bristol-born film pioneer William Friese-Greene and the 125th anniversary of the first public cinema screening in Bristol, which took place at the Tivoli on 8 June 1896, as well as celebrating Bristol – a UNESCO City of Film since 2017. It is generously funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Tati Day is also part of Future City Film Festival. The festival normally takes place every two years in the autumn but had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic. It will now run through 2022 as a series of special events. We are grateful to the British Film Institute for their support for the festival. 

The Goodies Forever

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The Goodies Forever

With Robin Ince & Friends

Date: Saturday 29th January 2022
Time: 2:20pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

In 2020 Tim, Bill and Graeme attended a special 50th anniversary event at Slapstick celebrating The Goodies onstage with Robin ince.

As Bill Oddie is now sadly unable to make Slapstick 2022 due to complications related to covid, Robin Ince, comedian and host of infinite monkey cage, will be celebrating the work of those super chaps: The Goodies by hosting a celebration of their best moments onscreen.

Robin has reached out to fellow comedians, writers and friends and asked them to record an onscreen introduction to their favourite moment from The Goodies.

Watch out for Tim Vine, Rob Brydon, Harry Hill and a plethora of surprise celebrity fans as they choose their favourite moments from the classic tv series.

Please Note: This Event replaces It’s Only Funny When It Hurts lecture with Bill Oddie which we hope to reschedule in the near future.

the goodies event

Lee Mack’s Desert Island Comedy Flicks

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Lee Mack’s Desert Island Comedy Flicks

Date: Sun 27th March 2022
Time: 20:30pm
Venue Website: Redgrave Theatre
Map: Redgrave Theatre
Price: £18/£16 Plus booking fees

Lee Mack teams up with Slapstick Festival as part our Slapstick Sunday’s series of events at the Redgrave Theatre this March. 

The prolific actor, writer comedian, best known for his appearances in his award-winning long running sit-com’ ‘Not Going Out’ and as team captain in ‘Would I Lie To You?’ discusses the comedy feature films he would he choose if he was stranded on a desert island but could only bring 10 films with him. Followed by a Q&A.

Leading the chat will be Bristol’s very own Jayde Adams, winner of multiple stand-up awards, and seen recently in Stephen Merchants Outlaws

Lee Mack

In The Best Possible Taste! Tim Vine salutes Kenny Everett

In The Best Possible Taste!

Tim Vine salutes Kenny Everett

Date: Sun 27th March 2022
Time: 18:30pm
Venue Website: Redgrave Theatre
Map: Redgrave Theatre
Price: £18/£16 Plus booking fees

Tim Vine adores Kenny Everett and wants to tell the world why.

Following his recent successful outing performing in homage to one of his great musical favourites – Elvis Presley (in the guise of Plastic Elvis) Tim returns to Slapstick Festival to champion one of his great comedy heroes, Kenny Everett.

Renowned and revered DJ Kenny exploded onto our small screens in 1981 with his wonderful Kenny Everett Video Show (1981-88).

The series was an instant hit utilising Kenny’s innovative jingles, multi-track recordings and ground breaking comedy sketches. Scripted by Barry Cryer and Ray Cameron the show had an intentionally anarchic and unpredictable live broadcast feel which all contributed to its popularity and legacy.

Tim shares his passion for Kenny with a series of extracts and a brief onstage appearance from none other than the legendary Barry Cryer.

Slapstick 2022 TimVine Instagram

BARRY CRYER: A Tribute With a Little Help from His Friends

BARRY CRYER: A Tribute With a Little Help from His Friends

Date: 27th March 2022
Time: 3:30pm
Venue Website: Redgrave Theatre
Map: Redgrave Theatre
Price: £16-£18 Plus booking fees

The national outpouring of sorrow and tributes at the passing of our friend Barry Cryer proved that he was the supreme British mirth-maker, a unique giant in the history of British comedy, to rank with mythical titans like Grimaldi, Dan Leno and George Robey. Yet even they each created only one character: Barry’s comedic invention did much to recognise the genius and shape the skills and style of several generations of star comedians.

The originally planned programme of Slapstick 2022 included a live show celebrating Barry in person. This show and celebration will now go on, hosted by his friend and long-time comic collaborator Les Dennis, with Barry’s Son Bob Cryer along and his regular collaborators on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Graeme Garden and Colin Sell.

The evening is an opportunity to celebrate Barry’s memory and genius, presented by those who knew him best

Please join us in this celebration of Baz’s finest moments and memories – and a generous dose of parrot jokes.

All profits from the event will go to Barry’s favourite cause: The Royal Variety Charity

Show at 3:30pm

Paddington (2014): Introduced by Andy Day

Paddington (2014)

Introduced by children’s TV star Andy Day 

Running time 95 mins

Directed by Paul King 

Date: Sun 27th March 2022
Time: 12:30pm
Venue Website: Redgrave Theatre
Map: Redgrave Theatre
Price: £10.00 (adult), £5.00 (Children)

A rare chance to see the BAFTA award-winning, much celebrated first outing of Michael Bond’s beloved bear’s transition to the big screen. Slapstick’s special one-off screening is an occasion for the whole family. With an introduction from one of UK’s best loved Cbeebies presenter Andy Day.

Paul King, director of Paddington has cited Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin as being huge influences on Paddington’s character and transition to the big screen and at Slapstick we can only applaud that.

Upon release the film received showers of praise, living up to the reputation of the classic kids story. It stays true to the original, and beautifully depicts the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone in the middle of Paddington station, he begins to worry that the city life is not all he had imagined. But his luck changes when he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven. Paddington then starts to rather enjoy life in London, that is until a museum taxidermist gets sight of him…

We will also be handing out a special complimentary Paddington Pack for every young person, which includes a Marmalade sandwich – of course! This is fun packed family entertainment not to be missed.

Andy Day
PDF file icon
Paddington: An Ode to Slapstick
Paddington An Ode to Slapstick

Arthur Smith: Laughs, Stories, a Song and a Poem

Arthur Smith:

Laughs, Stories, a Song and a Poem

Date: Sunday 30 January 2022
Time: 5.30pm
Venue: St George’s Bristol
Map: St Georges Bristol
Price: £10.00 – £20.00, plus booking fee

Settle down for a laughter-filled evening of off-the-wall humour with comedian, writer and broadcaster ARTHUR SMITH.

Smith is one of the stand-ups who revolutionized the world of light entertainment in the eighties and nineties and who is now a much-loved regular on TV/radio panel games and talk shows including QI, HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU and R4’s LOOSE ENDS.

Expect sublime playfulness crammed with jokes, anecdotes, short stories, poems and songs, and a generous helping of sass.

Arthur Smith Big Comedy Bash

Armando Iannucci: A Life in Satire

Armando Iannucci:

A Life in Satire

Date: Sunday 30 January 2022
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: St George’s Bristol
Map: St Georges Bristol
Price: £20, £18, £15, £10

Armando Iannucci has been a major force in satirical TV/film comedy for more than three decades through his creation of works such as THE DAY TODAY, IN THE LOOP, IN THE THICK OF IT, VEEP and THE DEATH OF STALIN.

His nurturing of comic talents including Steve Coogan, Chris Morris, Chris Addison, Richard Herring and Rebecca Front and his part in the invention of many enduring characters, Alan Partridge and Malcolm Tucker among them.

Here, with the help of clips, he shares his thoughts on how satire entertains, informs, shapes opinions, adapts for the times with comedian and fellow writer Robin Ince (co-presenter of R4’s THE INFINITE MONKEY CAGE and the author of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING INTERESTED)

armando iannucci featured at slapstick festival Bristol

Richard Herring’s The Sunday Chat

Richard Herring: The Sunday Chat

With Jon Culshaw

Date: Sun 30th January 2022
Time: 12.00pm
Venue: St George’s Bristol
Map: St Georges Bristol
Price: £10.00 – £20.00, plus booking fee

Join comedian and writer Richard Herring as he turns the interviewing skills honed on his award-winning podcast to quiz the latest in a line-up of celebrity guests.

His special Slapstick Festival guest is the hilarious award-winning comedian, actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw.

Jon is best know for being a star of The Impressions Show and Dead Ringers along with lending his many voices to shows such as Spitting Image and ITV sketch show Newzoids.

Richard pulls no punches in his interviews, frequently prying the most hilarious, original and surprising stories from his guests, and we expect nothing less when he sits down with Jon to discuss his life and career.

Animation Fanatics

Animation Fanatics

With Peter Lord

Date: Sunday 30th January 2022
Time: 9:30am
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Peter Lord (co-founder of Aardman Animations) has had a passion for early animation, both stop motion and classical drawing.

Here he celebrate the unique blend of surrealism and visual comedy that animation does best, showing clips from the weird and wonderful work of Ladislas Starevich right through to the classic slapstick of the Golden Years.

This cornucopia of animated delights will dazzle and charm, with the opportunity to learn from Bristol’s iconic animator/director.

Please Note: Bill Oddie, as was originally advertised, is not able to co-host this event.

fanatics

Richard Herring’s Desert Island Comedy Flicks

Richard Herring’s

Desert Island Comedy Flicks

Date: Sat 29th January 2022
Time: 12.30pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: From £8, plus booking fee

Pioneer of comedy Podcasting, legendary stand-up and writer Richard Herring joins Infinite Monkey Cage co-host Robin Ince at Slapstick’s inaugural DICF event.

If Richard was stranded on a desert island and could only have only 10 comedy films with him which films would he chose?

Come and delight in the conversation as Robin probes Richard to reveal the titles that Richard feels deserve repeat viewing and hear the stories behind the choices.

With a Q&A too, this will be a rare chance to see and hear Herring in the hot seat.

richard herring page

The Real Charlie Chaplin (2021)

The Real Charlie Chaplin (2021)

Date: Saturday 29th January 2022
Time: 9:20am
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£6.00

Dir: Peter Middleton & James Spinney US 104min

We are honoured to be hosting a screening of the brand new documentary ‘The Real Charlie Chaplin’ fresh off its debut at The London Film festival.

A look at the life and work of the one and only Charlie Chaplin in his own words, featuring an in-depth interview he gave to Life Magazine in 1966.

With unprecedented access to archive footage, as well as talking heads from surviving family members, this documentary reveals never-before-seen insights into the Hollywood star. Introduced by Peter Middleton & James Spinney followed by a Q & A.

You can read a review of the documentary, written by Pamela Hutchinson, here!

the real charlie chaplin

Silent Comedy Gala 2022

Silent Comedy Gala: Hosted by Stephen Mangan

SOLD OUT

Date: Friday 28th January 2022
Time: 8pm
Venue Website: Bristol Cathedral
Map: Bristol Cathedral
Price: £12.00 – £25.00, Plus booking fees.

Step inside Bristol’s spectacular Cathedral for a very special triple-bill of silent comedy classics on the big screen, accompanied by live music.

Join us for an evening of live music and classic onscreen comedies in an event showcasing your all-time favourite comedy stars.

Your host for the evening will be the hugely gifted actor, comedian, presenter and writer, Steven Mangan, who achieved fame through TV roles in Green Wing, Episodes, Dirk Gently and The Split (among others) and has subsequently also written a best-selling children’s book, Escape The Rooms.

Stephen is a huge Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy fan, and he can’t wait to introduce Buster to new audiences at Slapstick Festival’s 17th annual Silent Comedy Gala.

The highlight of the evening is a complete screening of Buster Keaton’s last great film, the outstanding comedy masterpiece The Cameraman (1928). Accompanied by an improvised score from The European Silent Screen virtuosi featuring  Günter A. Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Romano Todesco, the film famously features several of the most celebrated sequences in cinema history.

Other highlights include short comedies from the timeless Laurel & Hardy and thrill picture legend Harold Lloyd. This truly will be a thrill-packed evening – not to be missed!

Book early to avoid disappointment and get the best view in the house!

“A Bristol Institution” Bristol Post.

Gala 2022 Stephen Mangan silent comedy 2

Slapstick Conversations: Buster Keaton

Slapstick Conversations: Buster Keaton

With James Curtis

Date: Friday 28th January 2022
Time: 3.30pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £6.50/£4.00

James Curtis, admired biographer of Preston Sturges, W.C.Fields and Spencer Tracy, gives us the richest, most comprehensive life story to date of the legendary actor, stunt artist, screenwriter, director and comedic master Buster Keaton, in his latest biography Buster Keaton: A Filmmakers’ Life.

Buster transformed movie-making by elevating physical comedy on film to the highest of art forms.

His silent shorts and features remain as startling, innovative, and irresistible today as they were when they first beguiled audiences almost a century ago.

In partnership with Festival of Ideas, Slapstick is proud to present a special ‘in conversation’ with James Curtis* on Zoom, live from California, hosted by Bristol Ideas director Andrew Kelly**. In collaboration with Bristol Festival of Ideas.

8 Slapstick Conversations Buster Keaton with James Curtis

*James Curtis is the author of James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters; Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges; William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come; Spencer Tracy: A Biography, and W. C. Fields: A Biography (winner of the 2004 Theatre Library Association Award, Special Jury Prize). His most recent work is Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Modern Comedy. His new biography of Buster Keaton will be published February 2022 by Alfred A. Knopf. In addition, Curtis has edited three books on film-related subjects, including a biography of actor Walter Huston. He lives in Brea, California.

**Andrew Kelly is Director of Bristol Ideas. He is also a film historian. His projects include We The Curious, Bristol Legible City, Brunel200, Bristol800, Bristol Film 2021 and the annual Bristol Great Reading Adventure. He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England and has published 15 books on issues ranging from film and cinema history to Brunel and engineering, the future of cities and 100 years of Bristol aerospace.

The Patsy (1928)

The Patsy (1928)

With Sally Phillips & Ronni Ancona

Date: Friday 28th January 2022
Time: 1:00pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Dir: King Vidor US 78min U

Following the gala screening of ‘Show People’ at The Cathedral, the iconic Marion Davies shines in one of the best of her many collaborations with director King Vidor.

The Patsy does not skip a beat. No scene, gag or joke is out of place in this delightful movie, which follows the trials and tribulations of an awkward teenager hopelessly in love with her elder sister’s boyfriend.

With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney and introduced by Ronni Ancona and Sally Phillips.

10 The Patsy 1928
10 The Patsy 1928

W.C. Fields: Sally of the Sawdust

W.C. Fields: Sally of the Sawdust

With Dr Harriet Fields and Chris Serle

Date: Friday 28th January 2022
Time: 10:00am
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £6.50/£4.00

Dir: D.W Griffith US 104mins U

The irascible and immensely talented W.C Fields stars alongside silent film darling Carol Dempster as they form a sort of father/daughter relationship in ‘Sally of the Sawdust’.

When her circus mother dies, young Sally (Dempster) is raised by Professor McGargle (Fields), a juggler and small-time con man. McGargle trains Sally to dance for his opening act, and after their success, the pair join a carnival in this rare D.W Griffith comedy.

Putting these two incredible actors together in the circus is bound to make for a great comedy.

With an introduction from presenter Chris Serle and a personal message from Dr Harriet Fields (Fields’ granddaughter). With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.

9 W.C. Fields Sally of the Sawdust 1924

Slapstick Divas: Hosted by Sally Phillips and Ronni Ancona

Slapstick Divas

Hosted by Sally Phillips and Ronni Ancona

Date: Thursday 27th January 2022
Time: 8.30pm
Venue Website: Bristol Cathedral
Map: Bristol Cathedral
Price: £10 – £22, plus booking fees.

Welcome to an evening of brilliant, rarely seen silent comedies in Bristol’s magnificent cathedral as we celebrate the outstanding leading women in some of the funniest on-screen comedy from the golden age of silents.

Actor and comedian Sally Phillips is joined by Actor and Impressionist Ronni Ancona as they host this fascinating evening celebrating three silent comedy deities.

Highlights include a rare screening of SHOW PEOPLE (1928) featuring Marion Davies, the silent starlet who is still reaching new heights today as one of the stand-out characters in the recent Oscar-winning Netflix drama MANK (2020).

In addition shorts from Mabel Normand, part of the inspiration for the Tony Award nominated musical MACK & MABEL, and the first female director Alice Guy-Blaché.

Expect an electric night of classic comedies on the big screen with a live audience alongside live musical accompaniment from the European Silent Screen Virtuosi: Stephen Horne.

Slapstick 2022 Slapstick Divas Event Thursday 27th

David Mitchell’s Top Comedy Moments

David Mitchell’s

Top Comedy Moments (SOLD OUT)

Date: Thursday 27th January 2022
Time: 6pm
Venue Website: Bristol Cathedral
Map: Bristol Cathedral
Price: £10.00 – £22.00, Plus booking fees.

Comedian, writer and actor David Mitchell is making his debut at Slapstick festival in our ever-popular Top Comedy Moments strand.

During the show, David will reveal his favourite and most influential moments of on-screen comedy with his host Matthew Sweet (Free Thinking, Radio 3).

We are delighted to be hosting this unique opportunity to discover what helped shape the comedic mind of the cynical yet always hilarious king of dry wit.

Known for his memorable on-screen performances such as Ben Elton’s satirical interpretation of Shakespeare on ‘Upstart Crow’, his stellar portfolio of fine television and radio comedy including the enduring Would I Lie to You, The Mitchell and Webb look, The Unbelievable Truth and the BAFTA winning cult classic Peep Show.

With an opportunity to ask David a question too, this is a rare chance to hear the man discuss his comedy influences.

david mitchell portrait 1
david mitchell portrait 1

Lloyd: The Kid Brother (1927)

Lloyd: The Kid Brother (1927)

With Suzanne Lloyd

Date: Thursday 27th January 2022
Time: 3:00pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Ted Wilde & Harold Lloyd US 82mins U

Slapstick legend Harold Lloyd stars in one of the greatest ever silent comedies ‘The Kid Brother’.

Lloyd is undoubtedly an icon of the silent era, and this film is an incredible testament to his talent.

Perfectly paced, it balances humour and action into a beautifully crafted story of a sheriff’s timid son, someone who has a chance to prove himself when a medicine show run by con artists comes into town.

With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney.

Introduced by Suzanne Lloyd (Lloyd’s granddaughter).

7 Lloyd The Kid Brother 1927

First Women in Comedy

First Women in Comedy

With Sian Norris and Lucy Porter

Date: Thursday 27th January 2022
Time: 1:00pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Lucy Porter and Sian Norris present a series of short films celebrating pioneering women in film comedy. Between 1914 and 1919, Universal Studios released 170 movies from women directors. By comparison, between 2007 – 2017, only 53 films directed by women were among the 1,223 which made it into each year’s chart of top 100 movies at the box office.

Featuring films from pioneering directors Alice Guy Blache, Mabel Normand, Lois Weber and more, Lucy and Sian discuss the films and the culture of the period and take a look at women in comedy today. With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.

Sian Norris is a writer and journalist. She is the Chief European and Social Affairs Reporter at Byline Times and her book, Birth Violence, will be published in 2022 by Verso. She is the founder of the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival. Lucy Porter is a stand-up comedian, writer and actor who can often be heard on Radio 4 on ‘Just a Minute’, ‘Quote…Unquote’ and ‘The Personality Test’.

6. First Women in Comedy

An Old Gangster Molls (1927)

An Old Gangster Molls (1927)

With Lucy Porter

Date: Thursday 27th January 2022
Time: 10:00am
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £6.50/£4.00

Dir: Svatopluk Innemann CZ 108min U

This Czechoslovakian silent comedy ‘An Old Gangster Molls’ stars Anny Ondra, who later became one of Hitchcock’s leads in his classic silent thriller ‘Blackmail’ (1929).

She plays alongside Czech greats like Vlasta Burian and Jan W. Speerger in this screwball comedy about a factory owner and his uncle, who swap their identities and invent incredible stories to escape marriage in this classic filled with physical comedy and exquisitely observed situational humour.

With an introduction from comedian and presenter Lucy Porter and live accompaniment by John Sweeney on the piano and Frank Bockius on percussion.

5 An Old Gangster Molls 1927

Chaplin: The Circus (1928)

Chaplin: The Circus (1928)

SOLD OUT

With David Robinson

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022
Time: 5.20pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Dir: Charles Chaplin US 81mins U

Charlie Chaplin once again dons his iconic ‘Tramp’ character in his film ‘The Circus’.

Released in 1928, Chaplin was already a household name and one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and his newest film would continue to cement his legacy.

The iconic tightrope scene permanently etched Chaplin into the minds of everyone who saw it.

Nothing can make you forget seeing Chaplin’s tramp walk a tightrope with such grace, all with a group of monkeys on his back.

With a pre-recorded introduction from film historian David Robinson

4 Chaplin The Circus 1928

My Grandmother (1929)

My Grandmother (1929)

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022
Time: 3:30pm
Venue: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£6.00

Dir: Kote Mikaberidze Soviet Union 80mins

My Grandmother’ is an avant-garde gem of early Soviet Union filmmaking, banned for almost 50 years for some not so subtle political criticism.

This experimental film is an incredibly sophisticated piece of silent cinema. Following his sacking, our protagonist, a lazy pen-pusher, must seek out a benefactor, a “grandmother” in the slang of the day, and make them write a letter of recommendation for him to return to his job.

Director Kote Mikaberidze has created an incredibly euphoric film, blending together animated sequences, modern editing techniques, bold satire and absurdist set designs.

With a recorded introduction from actor and early Russian cinema enthusiast Paul McGann, My Grandmother will also feature live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.

my grandmother 1929

Max Linder: Be My Wife (1921)

Max Linder: Be My Wife (1921)

With Serge Bromberg

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022
Time: 1:20pm
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£6.00

Dir: Max Linder US 55min

Max Linder writes, directs and stars in the second of his three American films (Be My Wife). He plays the role of ‘The Fiancé’ and is determined to woo his girlfriend Mary and make her his wife, but in typical Hollywood romance fashion, the soon-to-be aunt-in-law Agatha does not approve of Max and tries to set up Mary with another man.

This love triangle comedy makes incredible use of visual and physical gags and perfectly showcases the French comic’s elegant yet chaotic performance.

With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney along with an online introduction from silent film champion and Lobster Films co-founder Serge Bromberg.

be my wife 1921

Silent Ozu: Days Of Youth (1929)

Silent Ozu: Days Of Youth (1929)

With David Robinson

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022
Time: 10:30am
Venue Website: Watershed
Map: Watershed
Price: £6.50/£4.00

Dir: Yasujirô Ozu JP 103mins U

The oldest known surviving film by legendary Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu, with an introduction by film historian David Robinson. Ozu’s debut feature film ‘Days of Youth’ is a carefree and joyful romantic comedy that follows the extravagant efforts of two men unknowingly competing for the same girl.

Made in the director’s student days, it is his most lighthearted film and although it’s very different to his later work, a keen eye could certainly spot how this film helped shape the incredible career he had ahead of him.

With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.

1 Silent Ozu Days Of Youth 1929