Bristol Slapstick Festival 2018

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1 Canon’s Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX




Jason Donovan, Jo Brand, Ade Edmondson and Lee Mack are among the entertainment stars who will be brightening up the city by appearing at Bristol Slapstick Festival 2018.

The UK’s biggest festival of silent and classic screen comedy will return to Bristol in January, with the programme featuring  23 events as the event marks its 14th annual edition. Between January 26th-28th some of comedy’s biggest stars will be appearing at The Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic, Colston Hall and Watershed.

The highlights released so far include:

*A Keaton 100 strand marking the centenary of the screen debut of silent comedy genius Buster Keaton with films, documentary, talks and a live stage show.

*Stand-up star Tim Vine will host a gala triple bill of silent comedy classic starring Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy with live music from the Bristol Ensemble.

*Jo Brand sharing clips and memories of her favourite comedy moments.

*Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer reuniting for Slapstick 2018 to look back at their work on such 1980’s TV shows as Comic Strip Presents and spoof heavy metal band Bad News.

*Jason Donovan will be giving an ‘I Was In It’ introduction to a screening of cult class The Rocky Horror Picture Show and judging which audience member has produced the best Transylvania costume.

*Bill Oddie will be re-opening The Goodies songbook and looking back to the marvellous days when the comedy trio earned pop chart success with songs like The Funky Gibbon and Black Pudding Bertha.

*Lucy Porter paying tribute to two of the silent era’s best-loved women comedians as part of a rare/rediscovered/restored strand which will also hail the ‘lost clowns’ from Europe.

*Lee Mack saluting the comedy genius of Laurel & Hardy in a show featuring anecdotes and a full screening of the long-thought-lost newly-restored Battle of the Century accompanied live by the European Silent Screen Virtuosi.

There will also be a choice of child-friendly Slapstick Junior events including screenings, a ‘pratfalls’ workshop and a free Punch and Judy show presented in Bollywood style.

Festival Director Chris Daniels says: “January can be a gloomy month but the next Slapstick festival offers such a wide variety of laugh-out-loud treats from almost every decade since screen comedy began that we’re sure this programme will brighten the mood of every comedy fan.”

He added: “We’re especially happy to welcome such top class entertainers as Jo Brand, Lee Mack, Ade Edmondson, Rowland Rivron and Christopher Biggins to Slapstick for the first time and equally glad that so many audience favourites from previous festivals will be returning, among them Robin Ince, Ronnie Golden, Nigel Planer, Tim Vine and more.”

For full details of the Slapstick 2018 line-up, including ticket prices and booking arrangements, see the festival’s website or look out for the festival’s free brochure.

Slapstick news is also available via the festival’s free e-bulletins the Slapstick Festival page on Facebook or by following @SlapstickFest on Twitter/Instagram.

Slapstick is a not-for-profit venture heavily reliant on fee-free appearances by guests, sponsorship in kind from many local businesses and the help of volunteers. The festival’s principal funders are Aardman Animations ( and the British Film Institute (


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