The Cat & The Canary (1927)

With Alasdair Beckett-King & Robin Ince

The Cat & The Canary (1927)

Silent Comedy Horror

Wednesday 14th Feb.
19:00 Bristol Beacon: Lantern Hall
£12.50 (£9.00 concs)
Dir: Paul Leni USA 1927 80mins

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 (1927).

Surviving relatives gather at a creepy mansion for a will reading, but something sinister lurks in the shadows. Its seminal influence can be seen in the development of the horror genre, making it a significant and historically important work.

Hosting the evening are author/comedian Robin Ince and YouTuber/comedian Alasdair Beckett-King. Maestro Guenter A. Buchwald adds a haunting live piano and violin soundtrack.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this cinematic milestone!
Approx event running time 90mins

cat and canary

Barry Cryer: Same Time Tomorrow

Barry Cryer: Same Time Tomorrow

With Bob Cryer

Wednesday 14th Feb.
16:15 Watershed
£8.50 (concessions £5.00)

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. In this event, Barry’s son, Bob Cryer draws on material from his highly-praised book – Barry Cryer: Same Time Tomorrow – the lives and laughs of a comedy legend – to share his personal memories and favourite Cryer gags with Andrew Kelly.

With a Q&A to finish, followed by a book signing.
In collaboration with Bristol Festival of Ideas
Approx event running time 70mins

bob cryer

Leading Women: Exit Smiling (1926)

Leading Women: Exit Smiling (1926)

Cert 15
Wednesday 14th Feb. 14:00 Watershed
Dir: Sam Taylor 1926 USA 77mins
£11.00 (£8.50/ £5.00 concs)

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 – her only silent and an early solo directing gig for longtime Harold Lloyd collaborator Sam Taylor. In it, she plays a maid working for a travelling theatre company who dreams of becoming a leading lady. But there’s a snag. Unlike Lillie, she can’t act. Various reviewers describe her as ‘wonderful, hilarious, mesmerising”.

Watch out too for Franklin Pangborn in a laugh-out-loud role which earned this film a place in TCM’s Gay Images in Hollywood series. With an onscreen introduction by Slapstick favourite film historian legend David Robinson and with live piano accompaniment from Daan van den Hurk.
Approx event running time 85 mins

ExitSmiling portrait

Join the team: Personal/Executive Assistant

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 the preservation of timeless cinematic treasures.

Step into the Heart of Bristol’s Vibrant Arts Scene

As a Personal/Executive Assistant, you’ll play a pivotal role in supporting the Director’s vision for Slapstick Festival. Your responsibilities will encompass a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Providing comprehensive administrative support, managing schedules, and handling correspondence
  • Assisting with event organization, including venue bookings, logistics, and catering arrangements
  • Handling festival communications, maintaining social media presence, and coordinating promotional activities
  • Researching and preparing briefing materials, reports, and presentations
  • Demonstrating exceptional organisational and time management skills to ensure smooth operations

Flexible Hours, Competitive Salary, and Priceless Industry Experience

This position offers a flexible work schedule, allowing you to balance your professional commitments with your personal life. In addition to a competitive pro-rata salary, you’ll gain invaluable experience in the ever-evolving world of film festivals and entertainment.

Unveiling the Magic Behind the Scenes

Working within a small, dedicated team, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate closely with the Director and contribute directly to the success of an iconic festival that celebrates the enduring charm of classic comedy. Your efforts will not only support the festival’s current endeavours but also play a part in preserving our cinematic heritage for future generations.

Embrace the Opportunity to Make a Difference

If you possess exceptional organizational skills, a passion for classic comedy, and a desire to be at the heart of Bristol’s vibrant arts scene, we encourage you to apply. Join the Slapstick team and embark on a fulfilling journey into the world of film festivals and entertainment, leaving a lasting mark on the preservation of cinematic treasures.

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity! Apply now and become part of the Slapstick family!

For more details, and to send applications, email sue@slapstick.org.uk

Read Full Job Description

Slapstick Festival 2023

Slapstick Festival 2023

This was 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, and for the 19th annual edition, we gave it extra special attention.

As well as live accompaniments to all our silent films, we celebrating some of the many marriages between comedy and music, including via classic mockumentaries, Beatles revelations and family-friendly movies filled with hit songs.

Alongside the musical comedy thread, there were events saluting the comic legacy of Michael Palin & Monty Python’s Flying Circus, including solo projects by Sir Michael and nods to people they influenced. Central to this, our 2023 guest curator, Sir Michael Palin joined us to introduce a selection of his favourite starring and non-starring films.

Sir Michael was not our only special guest; others in the live line-up include Rob Brydon, Harry Hill, Peter Lord, Alex Lovell, Griff Rhys Jones, Paul Mcgann, Stephen Merchant, Nigel Planer, Lucy Porter, Peter Richardson and all three members of The Scaffold.

As ever, much of the programme was dedicated to silent film comedy, its stars and innovators. With this, we were delighted to welcome some of the finest champions of cinema and comedy’s history, among them the Oscar-winning Kevin Brownlow, Oliver Double, Polly Rose and Steve Massa/Ben Model.

beatlesheaderportrait1

None of the above would be possible without the kind support of our major sponsors (Aardman Animations and the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery); the many supporters who offer help in cash or in-kind and the festival’s volunteers, advisers, venues and crews. We thank you all!

Events in Slapstick 2023

Below are the events we put on in 2023 including our main Slapstick Festival!

Slapstick’s Silent Comedy Gala

Hosted by Hugh Bonneville

Slapstick’s Silent Comedy Gala

The Gold Rush (1925) with live orchestra

Immerse yourself in the comic genius of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton at Slapstick’s screen comedy Gala.

Date: Friday 16 Feb 2024
Venue: Bristol Beacon
Time: 19:30
Music from the Shanghai Shuffle jazz band from 18:00
Price: £16.00 – £55
Early Bird offer: Book before Sun 1 Oct and get £4.00 off (not including concession tickets)
U18s: £5.00 off all ticket prices

Please be aware that Slapstick Festival Passes will become available shortly, and if you intend to purchase one, it’s worth noting that premium seats for the gala will be included.

Gala 2024 A3 Poster no text
HUGH BONNEVILLE LEICA SL2 00365 v1 F Photo credit Gavin Bond
Hugh Bonneville (Photo: Gavin Bond)

Event Details

Get ready to step back in time and laugh your heart out at the 20th edition of our illustrious Classic Comedy Gala in 2024!

The 2024 Gala returns to Beacon Hall big screen outings of three laugh-out-loud silent comedy classics, all accompanied by world -class live music.
Hosting the evening is award-winning actor and star of the Downton Abbey and Paddington film series, Hugh Bonneville.

Topping the film bill will be Charlie Chaplin’s masterwork The Gold Rush (1925), accompanied by the 15-piece Bristol Ensemble playing Chaplin’s own score, conducted by musical maestro and festival friend Günter A. Buchwald.

Before this finale, the hilarious Laurel & Hardy short Big Business (1929) and one of Buster Keaton’s most admired and innovative short comedies, Cops (1921) will be screened.

To set the mood for the evening, Shanghai Shuffle (see below) will be playing in Bridgehouse (the foyer space at Bristol Beacon) from 18:00, providing a musical speakeasy atmosphere that captures the essence of the 1920s.

Dress for the occasion! 1920s/30s clothing and costumes very welcome (but of course, very optional).

See Ticket Information

Shanghai Shuffle

Hot jazz from Shanghai Shuffle, a band seeped in an era of fast-paced, heavily syncopated music, all washed down in bath tub gin and French champagne. Close your eyes, have a cocktail or two, and it’s the 1920s not the 2020s.”

Shanghai Shuffle are a lively, upbeat 1920s jazz band with a distinctive flair for bringing this much-loved music alive, keeping it fresh and accessible to all generations. With some of the busiest swing musicians from the hottest jazz bands in town Shanghai Shuffle are regulars at The Old Duke and other local speakeasies as well as being in demand for Gatsby, Peaky Blinders events and all things 1920s”

Hot jazz from Shanghai Shuffle, a band seeped in an era of fast-paced, heavily syncopated music, all washed down in bath tub gin and French champagne. Close your eyes, have a cocktail or two, and it’s the 1920s not the 2020s.

So put down your noodle juice, get a wiggle on, grab your glad rags, and get out your gams, because if you know your onions then you’ll know that these Hepcats sure are the berries.

Shanghai Shuffle jazz band

Stand Out Stand Up For Slapstick

Hosted by Alexei Sayle

Stand Out Stand Up For Slapstick

With Henning Wehn, Zoe Lyons, Boothby Graffoe, Lucy Pearman & Charlie George

Another stellar line-up of comedians coming to The Hexagon!

Date: Friday 17 Nov 2023
Venue: Hexagon, Reading
Time: 19:30
Price: £28.50
Early Bird offer: Strictly limited amount of £4 off tickets are available.

This fundraising comedy event promises to be an unforgettable evening of laughter featuring some of the brightest stars in British stand-up comedy today.

Hosted by actor, writer and comedian Alexei Sayle, ‘Stand Out Stand Up’ features renowned comedians Henning Wehn, Zoe Lyons, Boothby Graffoe, Lucy Pearman, and Charlie George, each bringing their unique comedic styles to ensure a night filled with uproarious laughter and hysterical moments.

By attending this event, you get to enjoy a fabulous night of comedy and also to support Bristol’s fabulous Slapstick Festival, dedicated to celebrating silent and classic comedy.

Early bird tickets are still available at a discounted price, so don’t miss the chance to secure your spot for a night filled with riotous laughter and fun in Reading

Book Now

Please note: The host of ‘Stand Out Stand Up For Slapstick’ was originally advertised as Omid Djalili, who due to unforeseen circumstances has had to pull out of the event.

SOSU 2023 Website 500x650

The Big Comedy Bash, Oct 2023

The Big Comedy Bash, Oct 2023

Hosted by Rob Brydon with Adam Kay, Alasdair Beckett-King, Jay Lafferty, Alistair McGowan, Arthur Smith, Dee Allum. + more

Date: Thursday 19th October 2023
Time: 19:30
Venue: Hexagon, Reading
Price: £32.50
Hosted by our Patron and supporter, the award-winning comedian, actor, presenter, singer and writer. ROB BRYDON. Rob will be joined by BAFTA-winning TV writer, author, comedian and former doctor ADAM KAY (This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor). Along with JAY LAFFERTY, ALASDAIR BECKETT-KING, ALISTAIR MCGOWAN, ARTHUR SMITH & DEE ALLUM this promises to be one of our finest fundraisers to date.

The Big Comedy Bash is back at The Hexagon for another evening of hilarious comedy in aid of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.

PG Advised. 14+ Only. Live Stand-Up Comedy.

This event has now finished, but you can see photos (courtesy of David Betteridge) from the event below.

Rob Brydon with Adam Kay, Alasdair Beckett-King, Jay Lafferty, Alistair McGowan, Arthur Smith, Dee Allum

Photos of the event

The Big Comedy Bash 2023

The Big Comedy Bash 2023

MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE, JO BRAND, MILTON JONES, RIA LINA, ARCHIE MADDOCKS, DR PHIL HAMMOND + more

Date: Wednesday 10th May 2023
Time: 19:30
Venue: Hexagon, Reading
Price: £26 / £24 Concessions (including booking fees)
Ages 14+ Advised ~ May contain Adult Material.

Slapstick Festival’s annual comedy fundraiser is back at Reading’s Hexagon theatre for a sixth year running, with another outstanding series of top comedy performers lining up to help raise funds for Bristol’s Slapstick festival*.

You can expect an evening of brilliant stand-up comedy with sets from satirist, actor and comedian MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE, comedian, actor and Bake-Off: Extra Slice star JO BRAND, stand-up comedian MILTON JONES (Mock The Week) and comedian and scientist RIA LINA (Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You), and stand-up comedian Archie Maddocks, and comedian and doctor Dr. Phil Hammond.

This promises to be an unforgettable night of laughter and fun, For one night only.

*Slapstick Festival is a not-for-profit silent/classic comedy festival that’s been celebrating the finest in vintage comedy for almost two decades

The big Comedy Bash 2023

Gender Rebels: Post event notes

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’.

Panel Discussion

After the screening of the 1918 film ‘I Don’t Want to be a Man’, there was a panel discussion about gender representation in film with the internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson, the award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode, pianist Meg Morley and Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons. Below are some images from our panel discussion.

Fab Fools: The Beatles, The Rutles & Rock ‘n’ Roll Comedy

Fab Fools: The Beatles, The Rutles & Rock ‘n’ Roll Comedy

Date: Sunday 23 July
Time: 17:00 hrs
Venue: Redgrave Theatre
Price: £17.25

Jem Roberts, author of ‘FAB FOOLS’ – the ultimate comedic history of the Fab Four is joined onstage by a stellar line up of top comedy talent including: actor and Composer Phillip Pope (Hitchikers Guide/Blackadder), actor and voice artist Kate Harbour and Beatley legend David Catlin-Birch (Bootleg Beatles/World Party).

With drummer Keith Bailey (Red Propellors/Silenzio) and additional surprise guests they’ll bring to life a whole host of hilarious scripted Beatle rarities live onstage.

With live music paying tribute to the Beatles own talent for comedy and our eternally missed Rutle friend Ron Nasty, a.k.a Neil Innes, this is a unique ‘script in hand’ comedy event that no Beatles or Rutles fan would dream of missing.

fab fools cartoon route

Gender Rebels

GENDER REBELS

Save money with a pass for all 3 films for only £15

Date: Saturday 22 April
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £15.00

Slapstick Festival, Bristol’s annual festival of silent and classic screen comedy, has teamed up with internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson, award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode and Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons to present a day-long programme looking at some of the wittiest ways movie-makers have explored and disrupted gender roles during the 20th century.

The events include the three films:

Victor / Victoria

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

I Don’t Want to be a Man

Get the Full Day Discount!

FESTIVAL PASS v2
FESTIVAL PASS v2

Victor / Victoria

Victor / Victoria

Date: Saturday 22 April
Time: 19:30 hrs
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £8.50
Dir: Blake Edwards
1982, USA, 134mins. Cert: 15

With an introduction from the award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode

Jazz Age Paris is the setting for this quadruple Oscar-winning screwball musical comedy, part derived from a 1933 script, in which Julie Andrews plays a down-on-her-luck opera singer who is persuaded by a gay drag artist friend (Robert Preston) to pretend to be a man pretending to be a woman to get high-paying work as a female impersonator in a nightclub.

There, the ‘woman’ wins the love of a macho Chicago businessman (James Garner) who shocks his associates by wanting to continue the romance even after he learns ‘she’ is a ‘man’. With an introduction from Malaika Kegode. “A work of dry wit, high slapstick, black despair, romantic warmth, and penetrating intelligence” – David Kehr, Chicago Tribune.

victor victoria1982

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

Date: Saturday 22 April
Time: 15:00 hrs
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £8.50
Dir: Sidney Franklin
1926, USA, 70mins. Cert: U

Piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and introduction from Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons

Our second film is the South West premiere of a newly-restored silent comedy starring the Hollywood star Marion Davies in one of her biggest box-office hits.

She plays the New Jersey cousin of a man who learns he’s in line to become a prince of Graustark.

When his travel plans are disrupted, she adopts his identity, his title and his enemies – then faces a dilemma when she falls for a man who may also be a fake. With a surprise (colourful) finale, piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and introduction from Kat Lyons.

Beverly of Graustark 1926 2

I Don’t Want to be a Man

I Don’t Want to be a Man (1918)

(ICH MÖCHTE KEIN MANN SEIN)

Date: Saturday 22 April
Time: 11.30 hrs
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £8.50
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch
Germany (1918), 45 mins, cert TBA

With a live piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and an introduction from internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson

A rare chance to see an early comedy short by a director widely regarded as one of cinema’s all-time greats, Ernst Lubitsch.

In this raucous, flirtatious film, a boisterous teenage girl (Ossi Oswalda) becomes so tired of being bossed about she decides to pose as a man on a night out to see if it’s more fun, only to discover that while it does have its high points it also results in complications.

With a live piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and an introduction from Pamela Hutchinson.

12.30 PANEL DISCUSSION 

A unique panel discussion about gender representation in film with the internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson, the award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode, pianist Meg Morley and Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons.

I Dont Want To Be A Man 1919

Competition Time

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 ID grid and use the form below to give names to as many of the relevant numbers as you can manage.

The top prize will be a blow-up of the poster signed by most of our 2023 celebrity guests, x2 top price tickets to our 100th anniversary screening of the Harold Lloyd comedy SAFETY LAST! at St George’s on April 1st and a Slapstick 2023 t-shirt. It will go to whoever is first out of the pork pie hat who can put the right names to the highest number of the 34 spaces on the grid.

You can use the form below, or, if you prefer, email info@slapstick.org.uk putting Guess Who in the subject line. Closing date is January 23rd. Winner will be announced on or around Feb 14 (the day the next Slapstick fest begins).

Top tip – almost all of the faces can be found in the Slapstick 2023 brochure but – be aware -we’ve added in at least one celebrity we’re hoping to celebrate soon.

Quiz Submission Form


Harold Lloyd in Safety Last! (1923)

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last! (1923)

With specially recorded introductions from Suzanne Lloyd and Vic Armstrong

Date: Saturday 1 April 2023
Time: 20:00 hrs
Venue: St George’s Bristol
Price: From £10
Dir: Fred Neymeyer and Sam Taylor
USA (1923), 74 mins, cert U

The clock sequence in Safety Last! is arguably the best known of any in a silent comedy. Genuinely dangerous, too, as it was shot high up on the side of real LA skyscapers and using clever camera angles and a series of platforms still creates a sense of peril in audiences today as the witness Harold’s long climb to the top.

But the scene is only one of the reasons this film regularly appears on Funniest Film Ever lists. Lloyd sparks laugh after laugh with his over-ambitious efforts to make it in the big city so that he can marry his home-town sweetheart (Mildred Davis).

And this screening will be extra special – showing here exactly 100 years to the day of its first release and with live accompaniment by a trio of stellar musicians, The Stephen Horne Trio and with a special guest host (to be announced).

Don’t miss this special centenary screening of an undisputed comedy masterpiece.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1.20 hrs

Post Event Notice

A hugely successful sell-out event at St Georges celebrating Lloyd’s classic thrill picture 100 years to the day of it’s original release.

harold lloyd safety last tallys broadway theatre
Harold Lloyd Safety Last, With Tallys Broadway Theatre Below

Slapstick 2023 Announcement

Slapstick 2023 Announcement

An announcement from Slapstick Festival Director, Chris Daniels

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.

As well as live accompaniments to all our silent films, we’re celebrating some of the many marriages between comedy and music, including via classic mockumentaries, Beatles revelations and family-friendly movies filled with hit songs.

Alongside the musical comedy thread, there’s another – eight event strand saluting the comic legacy of Michael Palin & Monty Python’s Flying Circus, including solo projects by Sir Michael and nods to people they influenced. Central to this, our 2023 guest curator, Sir Michael Palin (who will be 80 in May) will be joining us, introducing a selection of his favourite starring and non-starring films.

Another related strand features events saluting Monty Python’s Flying Circus, including solo projects by key Python members and people they influenced. As part of this, our 2023 guest curator, Sir Michael Palin (who will be 80 in May) will be joining us, introducing a selection of his favourite starring and non-starring films.

National treasure Sir Michael will not, of course, be our only special guest. Others in the live line-up include Rob Brydon, Graeme Garden, Harry Hill, Peter Lord, Alex Lovell, Griff Rhys Jones, Paul Mcgann, Stephen Merchant, Nigel Planer, Lucy Porter, Peter Richardson and all three members of The Scaffold.

As ever, much of the programme is dedicated to silent film comedy, its stars and innovators, with many of the films rare to see, recently rediscovered &/or newly restored. With this, we are delighted to be welcoming some of the finest champions of cinema and comedy’s history, among them the Oscar-winning Kevin Brownlow, Oliver Double, Polly Rose and Steve Massa/Ben Model.

Please look out for the following three themes: Silent Comedy, Musical Comedy, and Palin & Python

None of this would be possible without the kind support of our major sponsors (Aardman Animations and the BFI, awarding funds from
the National Lottery); the many supporters who offer help in cash or in-kind and the festival’s volunteers, advisers, venues and crews.

But what matters is the joy everyone gets from experiencing stellar comedy as it was made to be seen – on a big screen, amid an audience, all laughing together. So please do join us and let the laughter begin.

Chris Daniels
Director
Slapstick Festival

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

Good Listening To…Robin Ince

the good listening slapstick
the good listening slapstick
good listening podcast

Good Listening To…Robin Ince

Hosted by Chris Grimes

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £10.00
SPECIAL OFFER 241 on all tickets for this event

In a live podcast recording of ‘The Good Listening To Show’ (also streaming on Facebook & YouTube) actor, comedian and Instant Wit improviser Chris Grimes hosts a wide-ranging chat with Slapstick Festival regular, stand-up, author and broadcaster Robin Ince.

Tune in for stories from Robin’s colourful life and career, including his adventures as a co-presenter with Professor Brian Cox of The Infinite Monkey Cage on BBC Radio 4 and on sell-out tours worldwide.

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

Griff Rhys Jones: Why I still love Laurel & Hardy

Laurel and Hardy with Stephen Mangan slapstick
Laurel and Hardy with Stephen Mangan slapstick
GRIFF RHYS 2023

Griff Rhys Jones: Why I still love Laurel & Hardy

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 3pm
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £20.00/£18.00/£15.00

Join the star of Not The Nine O’Clock News, Smith & Jones and Three Men In A Boat as he returns to Slapstick with an event championing his favourite comedy duo – Laurel & Hardy.

Fresh from his recent, critically acclaimed stand-up tour, Griff will present a mix of the Stan & Ollie clips and shorts he rates most highly and will provide insights into what drives his long-standing love of their work and why he thinks they won, and keep winning, fans worldwide.

RUNNING TIME 1 hr 30 mins

Please Note: Griff is now hosting this event due to an unforeseen change in the filming schedule for Stephen Mangan’s latest project.

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 

A Hard Day’s Night

hard days night slapstick
hard days night slapstick
hard days night slapstick

Onscreen: A Hard Day’s Night

With very special guests Mike McCartney in conversation with actor Paul McGann

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 12 noon
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £16.00/£14.00/£11.00

Ranked among the BFI’s top 100 British films and nominated both for a BAFTA and two Oscars, A Hard Day’s Night, in which The Beatles play cheeky comic versions of themselves, captures the astonishing moment when the band officially became the singular, irreverent, idols of their generation and changed music forever.

Their natural comic talent is self-evident throughout, including in several nods paid by the director to his favourite filmmaker: Buster Keaton. It is packed with hit songs and features appearances by many of the 20th century’s best-known entertainers.

This newly restored version will start with a short ‘in conversation’ with Liverpoor born actor Paul Mcgann and Mike McCartney, the younger brother of Sir Paul, a guest at the 1964 Liverpool premiere and lead singer of legendary chart-topping comedy trio, The Scaffold.

(Director: Richard Lester, UK, 1964, 87mins, certificate PG)

RUNNING TIME 1 hr 50 mins

Ode to Joyce

Ode to Joyce

A one-woman homage to Joyce Grenfell

Date: Sunday 19th February 2023
Time: 11.30am
Venue: Bristol Old Vic
Price: £12.00

Cheryl Knight stars in a must-see tribute to Joyce Grenfell (1910 – 1979) whose hilarious and acutely-observed monologues and songs made her a global comedy star last century and inspired many other entertainers including Miranda Hart and the late, great, Victoria Wood.

With a live piano accompaniment. “A wonderful show… leaves you marvelling at Joyce’s wit and wisdom” – Daily Telegraph.

Read more about Cheryl Knight’s Joyce Grenfell here

RUNNING TIME 1 hr 20 mins

SOLD OUT

Cheryl Knight Joyce Grenfell

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

The Scaffold: A Celebration

The Scaffold: A Celebration with Harry Hill

With John Gorman, Roger McGough, and Mike “McGear” McCartney and special guest host: Harry Hill

Date: Sat 18th Feb, 2023
Time: 20:30 hrs
Venue: St Georges, Bristol
Price: From £15.00

There’s never been a satirical performance group quite like The Scaffold. In the sixties and early seventies their unique blend of comedy, music and poetry packed out theatres at home and across the world and their frequent appearances on prime-time TV ensured that John Gorman, Roger McGough and Mike “McGear” McCartney became much-loved household names.

Equally loved by the mainstream and 1960s counter-culture, they produced hit after hit of chart-topping perennial favourites, including Thank U Very Much (for the Aintree Iron), Lily the Pink and Liverpool Lou.

With superfan and guest presenter Harry Hill onboard you can be sure of an evening of hilarious stories, sketches, poems, and rare footage including a screening of their short film Plod (1972), and possibly even a song or two, all celebrating the fascinating history of The Scaffold.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 2 hrs

Photo of The Scaffold (colour), courtesy of Mike McCartney.

Comic Strip Stories

Comic Strip Stories

With Nigel Planer & Peter Richardson

Date: Sat 18th Feb, 2023
Time: 17:30 hrs
Venue: St Georges, Bristol
Price: All seats £12.00
Event running time 70mins

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the ground-breaking classic comedy series, Nigel and Peter share insider anecdotes, favourite clips and “best of” footage compiled by Peter of the game-changing TV series and the choices are rich, from Five Go Mad In Dorset (1982) to Red Top (2016).

After debuting on the opening night of Channel 4 in November 1982, another 8 seasons and 4 features films were aired between then and 2016, making household names of its core stars, and attracting cameo appearances by a dazzling array of music, theatre and comedy A-Listers, among them Jeff Beck, Kathy Burke, Kate Bush, Robbie Coltrane, Sir Lenny Henry, Sir Brian May, Sir Paul McCartney, Maxine Peake, Ruby Wax and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Join Peter and Nigel as they celebrate the legacy of this great comedy institution.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 70 mins

The Comic Strip Presents: More Bad News

The Comic Strip Presents: More Bad News

With Nigel ‘Den Dennis’ Planer & Peter ‘Spider Webb’ Richardson

Date: Sat 18th Feb, 2023
Time: 14:30 hrs
Venue: St Georges, Bristol
Price: From £15.00
Dir: Adrian Edmondson
1988, 51 mins. Cert 15

Slapstick’s homage to mockumentaries continues with the second film by Channel 4’s Comic Strip gang about the heavy metal band Bad News – back together four years after an acrimonious break-up and preparing for an appearance at Castle Donington’s Monsters of Rock festival. Directed by Ade Edmondson and featuring Ade along with Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson as the band and with Dawn French as their manager and Jennifer Saunders as the journalist tracking the mayhem.

Joining us for the screening will be Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson.

Hosted by Robin Ince and followed by a Q&A

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 10 mins

More bad news

Harry Hill: Breaking the Silence

Harry Hill: Breaking the Silence

Date: Sat 18th Feb, 2023
Time: 12:00 hrs
Venue: St Georges, Bristol
Price: From £15.00
Cert 12

The irrepressible Harry Hill makes a welcome return to Slapstick, this time to screen and talk about his Lonely Island short film series, including a screening of one never before seen.

Harry wrote, produced, directed and starred in all four black & white, silent, slapstick comedy shorts, with each one located on the same island in a different historical setting.

We also have the bonus of extracts from the ‘work in progress’ extension of his Cavemen episode, and an opportunity for a live Q&A .

Hosted by Robin Ince.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 10 mins

A BSL Interpreted Event

harry hill event caveman