We invite YOU to join us for some much needed distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic and laugh in the face of adversity.

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From Thursday 9th April 2020 we’re aiming to bring laughter directly into your homes by releasing a filmed archive recording of one classic Slapstick event a week.

We’re really excited as this is the first time we’ve ever opened the doors to the magic of our recorded archive of silent, classic and visual comedy. Please view our recorded events below:


The first LAUGHTER IN LOCKDOWN stream features what is believed to be the last on-stage appearance by comedy writer and radio, film, TV and stage performer Eric Sykes CBE, who worked with a Who’s Who of stars during his 50 years plus career.

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on our SlapstickFest channel

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For our second Laughter in Lockdown stream (see details about Laughter in Lockdown 1 here), we’ve selected a comedy fundraiser from Autumn of 2016 which at the time we styled “A Slap Up Feast Of Fun: A Evening Of Music And Laughter”

Headlined by none other than comedy icon, writer, actor and Python John Cleese, the evening also featured a set by Rory Bremner, who had lots of material to play with bearing in mind Autumn 2016 was just months before Donald Trump was elected president of the US.  As such, this event not only provides lots of laughs but also a fascinating snapshot of an important period in history seen through the eyes of one of the world’s leading impressionists.

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Our third exclusive Laughter in Lockdown stream is the closing event of Slapstick 2020 – ‘I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again… Again!’ A show with added poignancy as it featured the final Slapstick performance from our dear friend Tim Brooke-Taylor.

The show’s producer and director, Barnaby Eaton-Jones, writes:

‘I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again’ was the very funny and deliciously anarchic radio comedy sketch show from the BBC that was the precursor to ‘The Goodies’, ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ and ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’. It ran from the early 1960s to the early 1970s with the regular Wonder Team of Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, David Hatch, Jo Kendall and Bill Oddie (with music by Dave Lee and The Boys), including a special anniversary reunion in 1989.

This special performance of their original full-length touring script (for the finale of the Slapstick Festival at the Bristol Old Vic) also features The Goodies themselves, reprising roles from their ISIRTA days

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#4 - Harry Hill's Top Comedy Picks

We’re up to week four of our laughter in lockdown series and this week we’re travelling back to 2014 for award-winning comedian Harry Hill’s Top Comedy Picks.

An annual sell-out event, the format of this show features a well-known comedian choosing clips from some of their favourite on-screen TV shows or films.

For this event, Harry was on stage with I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue star and Goodie, Graeme Garden.

A rare insight into the comic influences of the master of surrealist humour Harry Hill!

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#5 - The Goodies 50th Anniversary LIVE with Robin Ince

Back in January this year, The Goodies gathered together on a Slapstick stage for what ultimately proved to be the last time as a trio, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their groundbreaking TV series.

Hosted by Robin Ince, the show featured a discussion on the extraordinary legacy of their award-winning TV series (1970-82) as well as a countdown of the public’s favourite episodes from the show – as decided upon by an online poll run by the festival in the lead up to the event. This winning episode (no spoilers please if you were at the show!) was screened in full at the end of the evening.

As most of you will now know, we recently learned of the sad passing of Tim Brooke-Taylor OBE. Tim was on great form on the evening of this event, exuding his usual enthusiasm, passion, charm, energy and wit. We hope you’ll agree it serves as a fitting tribute to an undisputed comedy legend.

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#6 - Remembering the comedy genius of Victoria Wood

On 20 April 2016, the world lost the extraordinarily talented and exceptionally funny comedian, actress, singer, composer, screenwriter, producer and director Victoria Wood.

As a regular guest at the festival (which included her triumphantly hosting our 2013 gala), we knew we had to celebrate her life at the following year’s festival.

So, in collaboration with Bristol Festival of Ideas and The University of Bristol, we convened a panel which included stand-up comedians Pippa Evans and Lucy Porter, along with comedy and theatre historian Louise Wingrove, to discuss her extraordinary legacy and influence. Needless to say, the show sold out in double-quick time.

The event was hosted by Andrew Kelly and is the latest Laughter In Lockdown release.

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#7 - Tim Vine's Top Comedy Picks with Richard Herring

Just over a year ago, in January 2019, stand up legend and master of the one-liner Tim Vine joined fellow comedian Richard Herring on stage at Bristol Old Vic to talk about some of his favourite comedy shows and films.

The show crackled along as these two masters of quick wit and tight timing teamed up for an illuminating trip down memory lane. It also got quite poignant at times as Tim reflected on his late Dad’s influence on his comedy – and he even selected a clip of his Dad joining him on stage to tell a joke as one of his favourite comedy moments.

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#8 - Lee Mack hosts Laurel & Hardy's Liberty (1929)

Back in January 2018 stand up comedian and writer Lee Mack joined us at Colston Hall to present his “Laurel and Hardy Classics” – a unique evening of hilarious extracts, comedy, music and film devoted to the greatest comedy double act of all time.

The star of long-running BBC sitcom ‘Not Going Out’ and the ‘Would I Lie to You?’ team captain had chosen a selection of his favourite Laurel & Hardy clips and shorts for a packed Colston Hall audience.

One of the many highlights of the night was a complete screening of the boys’ classic silent comedy, Liberty (1929), which also featured the world premiere of a new semi-improvised score from composer Guenter A. Buchwald performed live by the European Silent Screen Virtuosi, who also included Romano Todesco, Frank Bockius and Marc Roos.

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#9 - Jo Brand's Top Comedy Picks

In 2018 Jo Brand made her debut at Slapstick Festival where she delighted and entertained a sold-out audience with a selection of her top comedy picks.

Jo had been someone we’d wanted to bring to Slapstick for some time, so when the undisputed comedy icon agreed to join us at Bristol Old Vic we couldn’t have been happier.

So settle back and enjoy Jo Brand in conversation with Robin Ince as she tells us about what makes her laugh, who her comedy heroes are and why (shock, horror) she isn’t a huge fan of slapstick comedy!

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#10 - Ken Dodd at the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Awards

In 2016 Slapstick Festival welcomed Sir Ken Dodd to Bristol where he became the fourth recipient of the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award.

Never one to do interviews in this way, this truly was a coup for Slapstick.

In conversation with writer and broadcaster Dr Matthew Sweet, Ken was in scintillating form on the night.

We hope you enjoy the tenth release in our Laughter in Lockdown series.

*This film is the unedited version of the whole event. The clips have all been left in – even though they are not visible – for reference only. This episode will be replaced with a shorter, edited version in July.

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#11 - Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders at the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Awards

When we announced in 2017 that the latest recipient of the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award would be Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, tickets for the Colston Hall event sold out in under 3 hours – a record for any Slapstick event.

So it gives us great pleasure to be able to bring the show to YouTube and share it with the many fans who failed to get tickets for the event.

Hosted by Mel Giedroyc and with a surprise visit from the inimitable Dame June Whitfield, the show features an in-depth exploration of French and Saunders career as well as clips* and personal messages from a slew of famous friends.

*Some of which we’ve sadly had to remove due to copyright issues.

Watch 28th June at 8 PM!
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