Hosted by Al Murray, and showcasing the best British stand-up comedy talent took place at Colston Hall on Thursday, 11th June 2015. We will be announcing our Slapstick Festival Gala plans very soon. So keep a look out!


Seeing Double! Morph & Chas
With Peter Lord and Richard Herring SAT 17 Jan 2015 Watershed 1400hrs £8.00/£6.50

Following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, the iconic clay character Morph and his mischievous pal Chas are back with a new series of Aardman mini-adventures. To kick-off the festival's comedy double acts ‘Seeing Double!’ programme, Morph's creator Peter Lord will be in conversation with stand up comedian Richard Herring as he shares a selection of classic and new Morph clips and exclusively reveals the final episode in the new Morph series ("Chas Express”).

Richard Herring is British Comedian, Writer and Morph admirer. Presently on tour with Lord of the Dance Settee.

Book your tickets today!

Slapstick International: Die Puppe/The Doll (1919)
introduced by David Robinson

THUR 22 JAN 1130hrs Watershed £6.50/£5.00 Dir: Ernst Lubitsch GER 60mins

DIE PUPPE / THE DOLL (1919) is an intriguing early fantasy comedy from master film-maker Ernst Lubitsch. This passionate story of romance and deception is strikingly illuminated by characteristic German cinematography. Forced to marry by his uncle, Lancelot finds himself married to no ordinary doll! Hilarious comedy ensues as the plot unravels. Introduced by David Robinson, film historian Director of the ‘Giornate Cinema Del Muto’ film festival. Accompanied by Barbara Lenz live on Piano.

With special thanks to the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung archive.


Ladies Night in A Turkish Bath (1928) With Kevin Brownlow

THUR 22 JAN Watershed 1400hrs £8.00/£6.50 Dir: Edward F. Cline US 70mins

A delightful comedy featuring the irascible Laurel & Hardy co-star James Finlayson as Pa Slocum. Ma and Pa Slocum sell up their thriving packed-lunch business (Ma's very own home cooking!) to move 'uptown', with dreams to live an idle rich life on the proceeds. Things don't quite go to plan and events culminate in a family quarrel with the men seeking solace at a raunchy club, and the women having to resort to the Turkish Baths! And the night isn't over yet!

Introduced by Oscar© winning director and film historian Kevin Brownlow.

With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.


Seeing Double! Mr Laurel & Mr Hardy - Apart!
With Graeme Garden

THUR 22 JAN Watershed 1600hrs £8.00/£6.50

Before teaming up to become arguably the finest comedy double act of all time, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy both had successful solo careers in the movie business in a diverse range of roles. 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' star Graeme Garden showcases some of their best short comedies including THE SHOW (1922) and DR PICKLE AND MR PRIDE (1925) with live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.


Slapstick International: The Marriage Circle (1924)
Introduced by Lucy Porter

THURS 22 Jan Watershed 1800hrs £8/£6.50 Dir: Ernst Lubitsch US 70mins

MARRIAGE CIRCLE (1924) stars two of silent cinema’s most talented onscreen female actors, Marie Prevost and Florence Vidor and the much admired ‘loveable rouge’ gentleman actor Adophe Menjou. It’s a story of the misadventures of two upper class married couples; one blissful and one sour! With misunderstandings, suspicion and a private detective, this hilarious comedy of manners reveals Prevost and Vidor at their best. Introduced by stand-up comedian and performer Lucy Porter and accompanied live by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry premiering her semi-improvised new score on solo harp.


Lost Clowns: Harry Watson Jr
The Mishaps of Musty Suffer

With Bill Oddie FRI 23 Jan Watershed 1000hrs £6.50/£5.00

"The Mishaps of Musty Suffer" is a cartoon-like and surreal silent comedy film series produced in 1916 and 1917. Wildly popular during its original release it has been oddly overlooked, neglected and practically unseen ever since. Chronicling the misadventures of put-upon tramp Musty Suffer, its star is the equally forgotten Harry Watson Jr., a popular stage clown who graduated from vaudeville to film. This programme is curated by Steve Massa and Ben Model using films newly transferred in HD from master materials preserved by the Library of Congress.

Accompanied live on piano by John Sweeney.


Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?

With Vera Iwerebor FRI 23 JAN 2015 Watershed 1200hrs £6.50/£5.00

Baby Peggy was one of the most bankable stars of the silent film era, making 150 films in less than five years – all the more astonishing due to the fact she was only 19 months old when she made her screen debut. Now an author and activist, Diana Serra Cary (AKA Baby Peggy) is featured in this enthralling documentary recalling her infancy spent as a million-dollar asset of the Studio System.

Diana Serra Cary was a Slapstick Festival guest back in 2006 and has been a festival patron ever since. We are delighted to share that she has recorded a special message for the festival audience.

Featuring: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (2012) Dir Vera Iwebor Netherlands 58mins PLUS Baby Peggy classic short SUCH IS LIFE (1924) Dir Alfred J Goulding US 17mins.

Accompanied live by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry on solo harp.


Lost Clowns: Eddie Cantor Introduced by Kevin Brownlow


FRI 23 Jan 2015 Watershed 1500hrs £8.00/£6.50 Dir: Roscoe Arbuckle (as William Goodrich) US 60mins

Eddie Cantor, began his career in vaudeville. He appeared on Broadway and in many films until the 1950’s. SPECIAL DELIVERY, his second screen comedy, is about a thoughtful but blundering mail carrier, who is in love with Madge, a waitress equally admired by other rivals. Eddie, who can’t dance, wins a coin toss to escort Madge to the postal ball. Slapstick ensues with two interfering detectives, Madge’s fiancé, plenty of dancing and some elaborate chase sequences! This film is rarely screened and emulates Cantor’s comic talents wonderfully.

With live musical accompaniment by John Sweeny


Seeing Double!
Live Performance: Hats Off to Laurel & Hardy
With Philip Hutchinson and Tony Carpenter
FRI 23 JAN Watershed, Waterside 3 1715hrs £8.00/£6.50

Earning rave five star reviews at the 2014 Brighton Fringe, 'Hats Off To Laurel & Hardy' is Lucky Dog’s homage to the lives of Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Oliver Norvell Hardy. Showcasing their early lives, steady rise to international stardom and later phoenix-like revival, the show passionately reveals Stan and Ollie’s commitment to their work, their appreciation of the fans and devotion to one another. Expect recreated highlights from their huge canon of work, accompanied by a little singing and some questionable dancing. Introduced by Ian Lavender.

Show running time approx 75 mins.



Hosted by Chris Addison, and featuring Rick Wakeman

Showcasing Buster Keaton’s comic masterpiece SEVEN CHANCES (1925) featuring the world premiere of new score composed by Gunter A. Buchwald and performed by Bristol Ensemble and two classic comedy shorts.

Colston Hall, Friday, 23rd January 2015 7.30pm

£10-£25 (including booking fees)


Slapstick Festival’s annual sell out Silent Comedy Gala returns, hosted by stand-up comedian, writer, director and actor Chris Addison. Featuring Buster Keaton’s break-through film SEVEN CHANCES (1925) headlining the evening’s entertainment.

A sensational hit with audiences at the time, SEVEN CHANCES is cited by film historians as one of Keaton’s finest silent comedies. Buster, discovering he stands to inherit his grandfather’s fortune providing he marries by 7pm that very day, ventures out to find a bride. With all Keaton’s trademark sight gags, this film features one of cinemas most memorable sequences - the ever daring Buster dodges a comedic avalanche of rocks AND a mob of would be brides!

Other films include big screen showings of Charlie Chaplin’s satirical masterpiece THE IMMIGRANT (1917), accompanied live by the European Silent Screen Virtuosi and a classic tit-for-tat caper BIG BUSINESS (1929) starring Laurel & Hardy, accompanied by keyboard legend Rick Wakeman on piano.

The Slapstick 2015 gala promises to be a night to remember!

Seeing Double!
Those Crackerjack Silents: Pete & Don

With Don Maclean in conversation with Chris Serle.
SAT 24 Jan 1000hrs Watershed £8/£6.50

It’s Friday, it’s Five to Five, it’s…..” Anyone who remembers those words will fondly recall the weekly joy of Don Maclean & Peter Glaze’s short silent slapstick comedies which were regular features during the hugely popular children's show. These shorts have been recently rediscovered and we are thrilled that Don will be attending Slapstick Festival as a special guest to screen a selection of “Those Crackerjack Silents” and discuss his work on Crackerjack and his onscreen work with Peter Glaze.


Do Not Adjust Your Set: Revisited.

With Denise Coffey, Neil Innes and Tim Brooke-Taylor
SAT 24 Jan 2015 Watershed 1215hrs £8/£6.50

‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ was a seminal children’s programme made from 1967 to 1969. Unlike anything made for kids before, it quickly acquired a cult following amongst many adults. The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band performed in every episode, with the musicians frequently appearing as extras in sketches. One long-running feature of the show was Captain Fantastic which featured a parody superhero played by David Jason in improbable, even macabre adventures against villainess Mrs. Black, played by Denise Coffey. We are delighted that Denise Coffey,

Neil Innes and Tim Brooke-Taylor will revisit those days and show clips from this ground-breaking programme. In conversation with Radio 3’s Night Waves host Matthew Sweet.


Morph: Cinekids Event plus workshop

SAT 24th January 2015 Watershed 1300hrs £3.50/£2.50

The iconic animated clay character Morph made his TV debut in 1977 and entertained an entire generation with his slapstick antics. Almost 40 years on Morph and his mischievous pal Chas are back with 15 brand new adventures which premiered on Morph’s YouTube channel in 2014. Join us for this unique event which includes a screening of favourite Morph moments old and new and learn how to make your very own Morph model with help from an expert model maker from the Aardman studios.


Victoria Wood celebrates Gloria Swanson
SAT 24 JAN 1400hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

We are delighted to be screening a double bill of Gloria Swanson comedies. Teddy at the Throttle (1917) spoofs the popular silent comedy tradition of seeing damsels in distress tied to train tracks. Stage Struck (1925) is a spectacle of slapstick comedy, but also displays Swanson’s superb comedic talent and her impeccable comic timing. Swanson plays a bedraggled small town waitress, who is in love with a goofy fry-cook. With a mind to impressing him, she sets out to become a real actress! This ingenious spoof of her own image sets the film apart as one of Swanson’s finest performances.
Introduced by writer, director and comedian Victoria Wood.
Featuring live musical accompaniment from The European Silent Screen Virtuosi.



Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones With Griff Rhys Jones
SAT 24 JAN 1700hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

Slapstick Festival is delighted to welcome Griff Rhys Jones, who will be joining our tribute to Britain’s finest onscreen comedy teams. Griff will be celebrating his onscreen relationship with his long-standing comedy partner, the inimitable Mel Smith. The tribute will be illustrated with a selection of clips featuring some of their best onscreen work and we’ve been promised a complete screening of their, as yet unseen and un-broadcast, sitcom pilot: ‘Three Flights Up’. This truly is a unique event, celebrating an exceptional comedy team. BOOK NOW!!


Laurel & Hardy’s Silent Goodies | SAT 24 JAN 1930hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

For one night only, the Bristol Old Vic will play host to Britain’s finest comedy trio, or as they’re more commonly known: ‘THE GOODIES’. The legendary gang will reunite for an evening of celebration, in honour of the greatest comedy double act of all time –bar none - Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Tim, Bill and Graeme will be introducing three of Stan & Ollie’s finest silent comedy shorts; ‘LIBERTY’ (1929), ‘YOU’RE DARN TOOTIN (1928)’and ‘DOUBLE WHOOPEE (1929)’. Three films considered to be amongst their finest early onscreen work.

The boys will each screen their favourite personal moment from the time-honoured duo, before introducing their short.

With live musical accompaniment from the wonderful BRISTOL ENSEMBLE and the EUROPEAN SILENT SCREEN VIRTUOSI, along with specially commissioned scores conducted by maestro Guenter A. Buchwald, it will be a night of laughter to remember! BOOK NOW!!

Stanshall Onscreen Featuring SIR HENRY AT RAWLINSON END (1980) USA
With Neil Innes and Denise Coffey

SAT 24 JAN 2200hrs Bristol Old Vic £10

A rare chance to see this film classic on the big screen with a live audience. Described by Time Out magazine as the “missing link between Monty Python and Withnail & I,”Sir Henry has become a huge cult classic with a passionate following. Introduced by actress /director Denise Coffey (“Mrs E”). Plus on opportunity to see the first onscreen film of Viv Stanshall’s invisible ‘strip tease’act and other sequences in an experiment silent pre -Bonzo film shot by Neil Innes. Introduced by Neil Innes.

Sunday Morning Slapstick
Hosted by Ian Lavender SUN 25 Jan 2015 Watershed 1000hrs £8/£6.50

Pure 100% slapstick family fun introduced by fan and aficionado Ian Lavender. Ian will be presenting rarely seen silents featuring comedy double act Marion Byron & Anita Garvin, Lupino Lane, and a selection of rare Max Sennett shorts. Plus more from double act champs Stan & Ollie. Guaranteed to be the ultimate slapstick experience! With live piano accompaniment.


Bring Me Sunshine! The Unfettered Genius of Morecambe & Wise
SUN 25 JAN 1215hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

National comedy treasure, Barry Cryer OBE discusses his relationship with the legendary comic duo Morecambe and Wise. As a friend, peer and sometime writer of the Morecambe and Wise show, Barry is uniquely placed to share his memories and stories of this much loved comedy team. Illustrated with classic clips and hosted by Radio 3’s Matthew Sweet. BOOK NOW!!

Shappi Khorsandi’s Top Comedy Moments, in conversation with Marcus Brigstocke
SUN 25 JAN 1430hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

Award winning comedian/performer Shappi Khorsandi shares her favourite comedy moments in conversation with festival favourite, satirist, stand-up and writer Marcus Brigstoke at this much-loved annual festival event. Shappi will reveal her favourite onscreen comedy moments, offering a fascinating insight into the comedy influences which have helped make Shappi one of our sharpest and most popular comedic talents. A guaranteed highlight of the festival!

Shappi, one of our finest stand-up comedians appears regularly on TV including Have I Got News For You and on BBC4 programmes including Never Mind the Full Stops, Quote… Unquote, The Now Show and Just a Minute. BOOK NOW!!


Vic & Bob: The Aardman Slapstick Visual Comedy Award
SUN 25 JAN 1700hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

The unstoppable Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are the well-deserved recipients of this prestigious award for 2015. Their innovative and seminal work, from Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out and Shooting Stars to more recent work House of Fools, has placed them as the undisputed champions of visual comedy over the past two decades. Their unique brand of alternative visual comedy employs surrealism, bizarre tangents, hilarious silliness and slapstick asides. Sure to be a roller-coaster event with clips and chat plus the onstage presentation of the Aardman Slapstick Award for “outstanding contribution to visual comedy.” BOOK NOW!!

Ginger Geezer: Celebrating the Life and Art of Vivian Stanshall
with Neil Innes, Stephen Fry, Rodney Slater and Mike Livesley
SUN 25 JAN 2000hrs Bristol Old Vic £15

A remarkable comic tour de force of Stanshall-created genius featuring Mike Livesley’s rave-reviewed adaptation of Viv’s cult 1978 LP ‘Sir Henry at Rawlinson End’. Accompanied by the six piece Stanshallian orchestra “Brainwashing House” and followed by live music from Neil Innes, Rodney Slater, Mike Livesley and other special guest performers including QI host and Viv admirer Stephen Fry. This promises to be a fitting tribute, proving that Viv lives on through his extraordinary work. BOOK NOW!!

Slapstick London: Stage Struck (1925) and ‘Teddy at the Throttle’ (1919)
Hosted by Lucy Porter SUN 25 JAN 1600hrs
The Barbican Cinema £11.50/10.50 Members £9.20

We are delighted to be partnering with Barbican Cinema to present this special screening of Gloria Swanson comedies during Bristol’s Slapstick festival. Hosted by stand-up comedian and Swanson admirer, Lucy Porter.

Featuring live musical accompaniment from The European Silent Screen Virtuosi featuring Guenter A. Buchwald (Piano), Romano Todesco (Double Bass) and Frank Bockius (Percussion). BOOK NOW!

Barry Cryer: Comedy Legend FRI 20 MARCH 2000hrs Bristol Old Vic £10 - £22

Undisputed National Treasure with a comedy writing and performing career that stretches back more than five decades; Barry Cryer is the third recipient of the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award. This event will be a chance to hear Barry's stories, with clips and special guests, as his I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue sparring partner, Graeme Garden, quizzes Barry about his work with such stellar comedy names as Tommy Cooper, Dave Allen, Ronnie Barker, Billy Connolly, Ronnie Corbett, Bruce Forsyth, Frankie Howerd, Morecambe & Wise and Kenny Everett. Sure to be a very special night!