Slapstick Festival 2017

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The Slapstick annual festival each January (Since 2005!) gives audiences a unique and often once in a life time opportunity to see some extraordinary films in unique circumstances. They showcase and celebrate 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! Combined with more recent and contemporary visual comedy film and work from neglected comedy artists from past decades, they aim to broaden our audience base, inspiring peoples interest in onscreen visual and classic comedy from over the last 100 years!

Taking place across Colston Hall, Arnolfini and Watershed.

Check out for full lineup

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More information

Slapstick Festival 2017

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, each 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 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 they 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 the Friday night gala remains a highlight with a Harold Lloyd classic The Freshman (1925) being performed by  a 25 piece Bristol Ensemble as they play Carl Davis’s score conducted by Gunter A. Buchwald.

With their ‘family’ of special guests and regular attenders 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

For more information please visit

Browse the brochure online here:

Festival Passes:

Become a Slapsticker, save money and beat the rush

If you’re as passionate about slapstick and silent comedy as we are then you might consider booking one of our festival passes to save money on events.

There are two options for 2017: the Silent Comedy Pass featuring all 18 events held from Weds to Sun at Watershed and Arnolfini and our high octane Full Pass which includes tickets to all 26 Slapstick events over five days and has the additional bonuses of premium seating at Bristol Old Vic and Colston Hall (i.e. great seats!) and a free 2017 Festival T Shirt as a big ‘thank you’ for supporting the festival.

Silent Comedy Pass
Tickets to all events at from Weds 18th – Sun 22nd Jan  at Watershed and Arnolfini
Only £120.00 including all booking fees

Slapstick Full Pass
Tickets to all events at held Watershed and Arnolfini PLUS all remaining tickets from the Friday night gala* at Colston Hall to the final event on Sunday evening at Bristol Old Vic (all 26 events). and has the additional bonuses of premium seating at Bristol Old Vic and Colston Hall (i.e. great seats!) and a free 2017 Festival T Shirt as a big ‘thank you’ for supporting the festival.
Only £225.00 including all booking fees

*If you have already purchased your Gala ticket please call Colston Hall Box Office on to pay a discounted rate for this pass.

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