Well, Slapstick returns for the 9th year and blimey, the juggernaut doesn’t seem to be slowing down (even in these money troubled times for film festivals). As an introduction to the festival, Chris Daniels (co-founder of Bristol Silents and director the Slapstick festival) has taken the time out to give us a outline of what is planned for early next year, in particular selecting five main events which we are thrilled to see in this incredible line up for one of the best festivals in the UK. Get Booking!

Slapstick produced the UK’s first silent comedy festival in 2005. Way back then we were delighted to see 900 enthusiastic attendees discovering the unique pleasures of silent comedy with live musical accompaniment. In the eight years since then word has spread: audiences have multiplied five times over to see some of today’s most celebrated comedy performers and finest film musicians pay their tributes to the great clowns of the movies’ golden age. This years festival is once again bigger and better, with sixteen events spread over four days at four of Bristol’s finest venues – including a return this year to Bristol Old Vic, which on January 27th hosts a special Slapstick Sunday, with four major shows.

The central theme this January is FUNNY LADIES. Though the names of Chaplin and Keaton may be better known and remembered today, the girls gave as good as they got, and this is a chance to see again two truly great comediennes, Marion Davies and Colleen Moore, as well as the irresistible comedy troupers, Anita Garvin and Marion Byron, featured in four programmes.

THE GIRL WITH THE HATBOX offers an unforgettable comedy performance by the gifted Ukrainian actress Anna Sten, who later became a Hollywood star. As a climax to the day, a great living British “Funny Lady”, June Whitfield, will be honoured in a special “Comedy Legend” tribute on Sunday at Bristol Old Vic.

The male greats are not forgotten either: the opening gala at the Colston Hall includes Harold Lloyd’s THE KID BROTHER, while the European Silent Screen Virtuosi will provide musical accompaniment for Buster Keaton’s COLLEGE. Bill Oddie introduces a selection of Laurel and Hardy talkies on Sunday morning and other contemporary comedy greats will be presenting shows such as Ian Lavender (COLLEGE) and Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Colin Sell will be celebrating 40 years of Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

I hope you’ll find something in the program which will entice you to join us in January.

See you there!

Chris Daniels
Slapstick Festival

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