Bristol Slapstick Festival


The origins of slapstick as a comedy genre date back to 16th Century Italian Commedia dell’arte. But, in the UK, it is more commonly known because of the the likes of Charlie Chaplin and classic British television comedies like Faulty Towers and Benny Hill.

Attended by around 36,000 visitors each year, the not-for-profit Bristol Slapstick Festival looks to continue the tradition of slapstick comedy in the UK by hosting five days of Britain’s best comedy acts and retrospectives.

For the last 12 years, the main event has been the Silent Comedy Gala, which is a celebration and homage to the best of on-screen and silent comedy, from today and yesteryear. This year’s Gala will be hosted by renowned British impressionist Rory Bremner and will feature Harold Lloyd’s 1925 classic, The Freshman, accompanied by Carl Davis’s 2013 re-score, played by the 25-piece Bristol Ensemble.

Other acts, across the five days, will include the distinguished actor Simon Callow presenting Charlie Chaplin’s greatest comedy shorts, a celebration of The Young Ones with Nigel Planner (aka Neil the hippie) and co-writer Lise Mayer, as well as a screening of the 1928 Western, Shooting Stars.

The Bristol Slapstick Festival takes place on 18 – 22 January at Venues across Bristol. For more information, visit the official festival website here.