Slapstick Festival 2023

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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.


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!