Slapstick have a bumper programme of silent and classic comedy planned for 2024

Slapstick have a bumper programme of silent and classic comedy planned for 2024

Posted on: 28 Nov 2023

February 2024 will see Bristol-based Slapstick Festival – Europe’s biggest festival of silent and classic screen comedy – celebrate its twentieth anniversary in style, with a new strand celebrating comedy horror.


Slapstick Festival 2024 will run across four Bristol venues from Wednesday 14 to Sunday 18 February 2024.


Bristolian fans of silent and classic screen comedy will once more be treated to a stellar lineup of 20th-century film and TV in addition to a brilliant selection of top-flight celebrity guests – including High Bonneville, Sylvester McCoy and Sir Michael Palin! – and a brand-new strand.


Grab your tickets and browse the full festival programme, HERE.



Slapstick have over 30 events planned across Bristol Beacon, Watershed, Bristol Old Vic main theatre and Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio and have recently announced their full lineup of special guests including Sir Michael Palin, Samira Ahmed, Hugh Bonneville, Harry Hill, Robin Ince, Sylvester McCoy, Christina Newland, Lucy Porter and Tim Vine to name but a few.


Music will, again, play an important role in the festival, accompanying silent comedies including 20s classics from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Beatrice Lillie and more. However, the programme also features a collection of spoof/wacky horror flicks starring scare stars such as Lon Chaney Jnr.


This year’s event also sees the return of the Gala to the newly refurbished Bristol Beacon, with regional premieres of films from Harry Hill and Tim Vine, a look back at two hugely popular sitcoms, a reassessment of the political clout of The Goodies and much more besides.

Programme highlights include Paddington star Hugh Bonneville hosting the Gala in the new-look Beacon Hall where films screened films will include Chaplin’s The Gold Rush accompanied by the Bristol Ensemble.


Sir Michael Palin and Robert Lindsay will revisit G.B.H, the Alan Bleasdale political comedy in which they both starred, prior to a separate clips-rich event at which Lindsay will receive the Aardman/Slapstick Comedy Award honouring his many other comedy performances including in My Family and Citizen Smith.


Harry Hill and Tim Vine will be introducing their latest films as well as a regional premiere of a lovely new documentary starring Stan Laurel’s touring hat, ahead of a Marcus Brigstocke-hosted char with its maker. Broadcaster Samira Ahmed will be re-assessing The Goodies with Graeme Garden, discussing whether it impacted social consciences than was first realised.

Alasdair Beckett-King and Robin Ince host a screening of comedy horror The Cat and The Cradle as part of a chills and chortles event that will round up a selection of strange early shorts; a ‘Spooktacular’ live stream from New York; stories of when stunts go wrong and a family-friendly screening of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.


There will also be a Tardis-style retrospective of Sylvester McCoy's long and varied comedy career, known by millions as the seventh Doctor Who and as a wizard in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings films.


Fans will also be able to take a fresh look at the Bristol-made 1970s sitcom BIG JIM & THE FIGARO CLUB – hailed in reviews as ‘an unsung masterpiece’ and a lost ‘gem’, with some of its stars and its producer. Wow! And that’s just the start, check out the full programme here.

Slapstick Festival will run across four Bristol venues from Wednesday 14 to Sunday 18 February 2024. Full details of the Slapstick 2024 programme and booking options are available on the festival’s website.

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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.