It’s January and so it’s time for one of our favourite events of the year – Slapstick Festival.  This year, the main festival takes place in its usual January slot with 33 events taking place over six days as well as the special Gala evening in February at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Bristol Old Vic Slapstick take over posterImage: Slapstick Takeover at Bristol Old Vic

For anyone who has never been to a slapstick event, you are missing out on a massive New Year treat.  This year, the festival is divided between a strong archive programme of silent comedy at Watershed (16-20 Jan) and a classic comedy strand at Bristol Old Vic (18-20 Jan), with guest curator Richard Herring programming a number of special events at the historic theatre.  There’s also a very special event at Bristol Cathedral to look out for.

This is the biggest Slapstick ever, featuring the classic Laurel & Hardy shorts accompanied by live music, an evening dedicated to The Inbetweeners with creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, together with Joe Thomas (Simon Cooper) and a host of famous faces and screenings of old favourites with a few new to yous.

An image from Stan and Ollie, filmed in Bristol. Credit eOne

Image: Steve Cogan & John C Reiley as Stan and Ollie. Credit: eOne

What’s particularly special this year is that the festival will take place during the week of the opening of the new movie Stan and Ollie.  Telling the story of their attempt to reignite their film careers as they embark on what becomes their swan song - a gruelling theatre tour of post-war Britain.  And Bristol has a bit of a supporting role in the film with the historic harbourside outside of Mshed doubling up as the Irish Docks and the Bristol Hippodrome standing in for the exterior and stage door of the Queen's Hall in Newcastle. 

Laurel and Hardy highlights at Slapstick 2019

Way Out West (1937) with Bill Oddie and Robin Ince

Laurel Hardy’s Choice Morsels with Richard Herring, Rowland Rivron and Friends

STAN (2006) - A Moving Tribute to The World’s Greatest Comedy Partnership

Laurel & Hardy at The Hippodrome

Read more about Slapstick festival and Bristol’s film and TV locations.

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