A timely screening of Charlie Chaplin’s classic satire with special guests & music
If 2016 was your annus horribilis what better way to spend January 21 – the day after America’s presidential inauguration – than in the company of comedians and musicians proving that satire lives and that only comedy can save a world on the brink!
As Simon Wiesenthal put it, “Humour is the weapon of unarmed people” and that weapon was never better used than in Charles Chaplin’s great classic comedy-satire, THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940).
The 45th President of the United States has already inspired a renaissance of American comedy, even before his inauguration. Stephen Colbert, Alec Baldwin, Seth Meyers and Bill Maher are building up a powerful movement of comic resistance to the impending administration, proving J.B.Priestley’s assertion that “Comedy is society protecting itself with a smile”.
Chaplin has an almost mystical way of becoming ever more relevant as history moves on, and there was never a more fitting time than now for this great satire, with its plea for a world of peace, without totalitarianism, despotism, intolerance and racism.
When THE GREAT DICTATOR came out in 1940 both the political left and right were puzzled by Chaplin’s final emotional peroration from the screen–not what you are expecting as the climax of a comedy. Yet today, you only have to google “The best speech ever made” or “The World’s greatest speech” – and there it is over and over – as well as being incorporated in innumerable pop songs.
Chaplin will be enthusiastically supported, live, by present-day comedians and musicians including Barry Cryer & Ronnie Golden, Grace Petrie and with other stars be announced, please check www.slapstick.org.uk for the latest line up.
To buy joint tickets for The Great Dictator and Simon Callow presents Chaplin’s Greatest Comedy Shorts for just £25 click here.
Between the shows, at 7pm, you are invited to join Richie Paradise’s Big R Big Band for a free live 1930s/40s live music experience in the foyer.
With special thanks to Kate Guyonvarch, Curzon Corp and the Chaplin estate for making this show possible
Film certification: PG
Film Running Time 125mins. Event ends approximately 23.15.