Enjoy 6 days of top tier comedy with Slapstick Festival 2023 next week

Enjoy 6 days of top tier comedy with Slapstick Festival 2023 next week

Posted on: 10 Feb 2023

Comedy fans can expect a packed programme of film screenings, theatre performances and ‘in conversation’ events when Slapstick Festival returns to Bristol next week.


Slapstick Festival 2023 will run across multiple venues from Tuesday 14 until Sunday 19 February.


Despite some sell-out events, there’s still plenty to choose from with everything from special ‘kids go free’ and ‘Valentine’s Day’ screenings of musical comedy classics to onstage discussions about silent comedy greats planned over the coming week.


Tickets for all these events can be purchased on the Slapstick Festival website.



We’ve rounded up a few of the highlights from this stunning week of onscreen comedy…


Launch day (Tuesday 14 February) sees a special takeover of Bristol Imax with a double bill of family classics Mary Poppins (10:30 AM) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2 PM) and the Marilyn Monroe-starring Some Like It Hot (8 PM).


Slapstick will be back at Bristol Imax on Wednesday 15 for a screening of cult music mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (8:30 PM) with a recorded introduction from Sir Michael Palin. The same day, festival favourites Lucy Porter and Jane Duffus will present new a silent film collection, ‘Onscreen Wonder Women’, at Watershed.

Thursday 16 sees a bumper day of comedy flicks. At Watershed Ay?e Behçet will present ‘Charlie’s London’ (11:40 AM), a Bristol Ideas collaboration looking at Charlie Chaplin’s early years in London.


Over at Bristol Imax Monty Python’s absurd Arthurian tale Monty Python and The Holy Grail (5:30) will be screened alongside introductions from Sir Michael Palin and John Cleese. This will be followed by ‘Silent Comedy Gala: 1924 – Buster Keaton at the Double!’ (8:30 PM) – a silent double bill of Keaton’s The Navigator and Sherlock Jr.


On Friday 17, Slapstick will celebrate Sir Michael Palin’s 80th Birthday with a Watershed screening of Alan Bennett’s post-war tale of Betty The Pig – A Private Function will show at 9:30 AM. Friday at Watershed also sees Oliver Double present ‘A Violin Over The Head’ (3:30 PM), a look at slapstick music in variety theatre.

Saturday 18 sees much-loved comedian Harry Hill head to St George’s to present his Lonely Island short film series (12 PM). Also at St. George’s Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson will look back at 40 years of the ground-breaking comedy series The Comic Strip (5:30 PM).


At Bristol Old Vic, the following day, Cheryl Knight will star in Ode to Joy (11:30 AM): a one-woman homage to 20th-century comedy star Joyce Grenfell. The final day of the festival is comedy bonanza at Bristol Old Vic. At 12 PM The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night will be screened alongside an in-conversation with special guests Paul McGann and Mike McCartney – brother Paul.


Sunday also sees ‘Why I Still Love Laurel & Hardy’ with Griff Rhys Jones (3 PM). Originally planned with Stephen Mangan, the comedy star will discuss his love for the legendary comedy duo. Closing Slapstick is a sold-out ‘in-conversation’ between Michael Palin and renowned Welsh comic Rob Brydon.

Beginning in 2005, Slapstick’s aim is to introduce new audiences to the wonderful world of silent and visual on-screen comedy by showcasing and celebrating archive comedy predominately from the silent era of film with events around Bristol and online.


Find a comprehensive Slapstick 2023 programme list HERE.

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Article by:

Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and he spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city, immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturdays are spent watching his team both home and away.