Slapstick Festival

Various Venues, Bristol, BS1 5AR
Bristol Slapstick Festival 2018


The Slapstick annual festival is held every January (Since 2005!) and gives audiences a unique and often once in a life time opportunity to see some extraordinary films in unique circumstances.

It showcases and celebrates archive film predominately from the silent era (1895-1930), accompanied by live musical scores performed by world class musicians, and introduced by some of the most prominent film historians, experts, and comedians inspired by the comedy legends on screen!

Actor Paul McGann, broadcasters Samira Ahmed and comedians Shappi Khorsandi and Lucy Porter are among the latest celebrities to join the guest list for Bristol’s annual celebration of silent screen and classic comedy.

Tickets are already selling briskly for the nine live stage shows being staged during Slapstick 2020 at the Redgrave Theatre in Clifton and Bristol Old Vic featuring Rob Brydon, Barry Cryer, Harry Hill, The Goodies and Stephen Merchant.

Now Slapstick is completing its line-up for its 16th edition by unveiling details of the screenings, talks and film + music events it will be presenting at Watershed and in Bristol Cathedral.


Stand-up Shappi Khorsandi hosting a celebration of Slapstick Divas – a treasury of rarely seen silent comedies starring some of the era’s best-loved female stars, among them Mabel Normand, Dorothy Devore, Louise Fazenda and Gale Henry.

A Bristol Cathedral screening of Buster Keaton’s lovingly restored Our Hospitality (1923) in 4K glory at the Silent Comedy Gala, accompanied live by the European Silent Screen Virtuosi, plus shorts from Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin, all introduced by actor and silent film fan Paul McGann.

A bumper crop of newly restored, recently rediscovered & unfairly forgotten silent films including Buster Keaton’s own favourite shorts; solo turns by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy; some early Chaplin and their many European counterparts plus a rare UK screening of a film by past Aardman Slapstick award winner: Pierre Etaix. 

Bill Oddie sharing his love of cartoons and his special passion for the slapstick antics of Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Tom and Jerry. 

A look back at the ground-breaking TV series At Last The 1948 Show with original cast member Tim Brooke-Taylor using favourite clips and newly found footage.

Slapstick is also partnering Bristol’s biennial Cary Grant Comes Home Festival on a screening at Watershed of the 1933 screwball comedy She Done Him Wrong on 18 January (1pm) – the date in 1904 when the Hollywood star and style icon was born in the city.

To keep up to date with Slapstick news, find the Slapstick Festival page on Facebook or follow @SlapstickFest on Twitter/Instagram.

Slapstick is a not-for-profit venture heavily reliant on fee-free appearances by guests, sponsorship in kind from many local businesses and the help of volunteers. The festival’s principal sponsors are Aardman Animations and the British Film Institute.


  • Slapstick Festival 2018 Trailer

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Watershed Bristol Harbourside
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