What's On?


A Note from the Festival Director...


Slapstick Festival returns to Bristol in January (now celebrating its thirteenth edition!) and this year funny women are leading the way, from original Roaring Twenties flapper Colleen Moore, to “The It Girl” Clara Bow and the wonderful Annette Benson, all in scintillating on-screen performances.

All the above – and more – will be presented live by 21st Century champions, including comedians Lucy Porter, Shazia Mirza, Marcus Brigstoke and film historians Kevin Brownlow and David Robinson

Elsewhere the festival pays special tribute to three stand-out comedians who have recently sadly left us, but who remain very much alive via their indomitable screen presence – comedians Victoria Wood and Rik Mayall, plus French clown and filmmaker Pierre Étaix, winner of the 2012 Aardman Slapstick Visual Comedy Award. As well as a full screening of Étaix’s rarely seen classic Le Soupirant we’ll also be revisiting the classic comic masterwork Mon Oncle by his friend and early mentor Jacques Tati.

We’ll be celebrating Europe next year too with great directors such as Mauritz Stiller and Carl Theodor Dreyer and, as usual, Slapstick will be looking back at some classic television and silent comedy, notably with Accidentally Preserved! and the premiere of previously “lost” Dada-esque Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band footage, with special guest Neil Innes.

At Bristol Old Vic on Slapstick Sunday we present five unique events celebrating Laurel & Hardy, Tommy Cooper, The Young Ones and, with Colin Sell, the great icons of the silver screen circa 1930-50.

For Silent Comedy devotees our Friday night gala remains a highlight with a Harold Lloyd classic The Freshman (1925) being accompanied by a 25 piece orchestra, Bristol Ensemble, who’ll be playing Carl Davis’s much-lauded score, conducted by Gunter A. Buchwald. 

With our ‘family’ of special guests and regular attendees including Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden, Ian Lavender, Neil innes, Barry Cryer, Marcus Brigstocke and Lucy Porter all returning and brand new guests including  Alexei Sayle,  Shazia Mirza and Roy Hudd, what’s not to love?

Welcome to Slapstick 2017!

Chris Daniels 

Festival Director