Opening Gala Slapstick Festival 2012

We are proud to announce that the gala event for Slapstick Festival 2012 will be hosted by Griff Rhys Jones. Griff will be introducing The General (1926), a clip of which you can find above. The General is considered one of the greatest films ever released & regularly features highly in critics lists of their favourite films.

Showing alongside The General will be Charlie Chaplin’s The Adventurer (1917), a Laurel and Hardy short film The Finishing Touch (1928) & a new compilation of Keaton and Chaplin footage accompanied by our good friends The Matinee Idols acapella group.

Finally we are also excited to announce that accompanying The General will be a specially composed score by long time Bristol Silents collaborator Guenter A Buchwald. This score will be played by The European Silent Screen Virtuosi and Bristol Ensemble.

When we asked Griff about his connection to & love of slapstick comedy he replied thus:

“It might be worth me pointing out that slapstick comedy is really where I began.

“I used to do a series of routines based around falling over on stage and then starred in the West End in Charley’s Aunt, which requires a whole series of pratfalls, double takes and ‘hat business’.

“Since then I have been in a sequence of farces, including Horse and Carriage translated from the Feydeau.

“I have played Dario Fo, Arturo Ui, another Feydeau and two Ben Travers in the West End, and I really believe that you cannot play nineteenth or twentieth century farce without reference to silent comedy films.

“Watching Keaton and Laurel and Hardy you understand that their origins were on the stage and their awareness of technique and the slightly artificial, even balletic nature of their action, derives from the inherent signalling that slapstick requires in a big theatre.”

We are thrilled that Griff has agreed to join us for Slapstick 2012.

You can buy tickets for the opening gala from Colston Hall’s website here:

Further details of Slapstick Festival events can be found from our website here:

The General IMDB:

The General Wikipaedia:

The Adventurer IMDB:

The Finishing Touch IMDB:

Finally here’s a clip of Griff in one of his many hysterical Not The 9 O’clock News sketches. Enjoy.

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