It may be one of the most miserable months of the year but there's plenty to keep you entertained!
January 2018 sees an eclectic programme of performances all over the city. Taking centre stage this month is Colston Hall’s annual Slapstick Festival, from 26th - 27th of January. With over 10 performances of live comedy, silent film and workshops this year promises to be as boisterous as Laurel and Hardy themselves. January also sees two comedy geniuses return with a second sell-out show, Greg Davies’s ‘You Magnificent Beast’ and Ricky Gervais with ‘Humanity’. To close the month Finnish electronica band LIIMA take to the stage for what is sure to be exhilarating show from start to finish. Colston Hall’s January programme debunks all myths of January blues with a line-up set to have you both giggling and dancing.
Snow Globe – Kid Carpet & Bristol Old Vic, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, Tuesday 2nd – Sunday 7th January, £8.60-£13.97 inc. booking fee
Kid Carpet is the champion of the lost and broken, using found objects as well as Casio keyboards, cardboard, sellotape and shouting to make peculiar punk folk disco music. Shaking together rickety tales and wonky songs into one hilarious adventure, join Kid Carpet as he takes over The Lantern at Colston Hall with this signature blend of theatrical chaos perfect for ages 3 to 7 years and families.
Comedy: Ricky Gervais, Colston Hall, 7:30pm, Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th January, £34.94 inc. booking fee
Considered one of the most influential British comedians since Charlie Chaplin, Ricky Gervais is returning to Colston Hall with his sell-out show Humanity. The creator and star of The Office, Extras and Derek, Ricky Gervais has won three Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmy Awards and seven BAFTAs. Following a sell-out show in 2017, Gervais will return to Colston Hall’s stage in 2018 to end his Humanity Tour where it began.
Rock and Pop: Leeroy Stagger + Mark J. Lee, The Wardrobe Theatre, 8pm, Monday 22nd January £10.75 inc. booking fee
Setting himself apart from mainstream pop-country, Leeroy Stagger has an uncanny skill at crafting beautiful melodies with insightful lyrics that has confirmed his status as one of Canada’s best contemporary singer/songwriters. Joining him in the intimate setting of The Wardrobe Theatre is Howlin’ Lord’s singer, guitarist and songwriter Mark J. Lee whose solo performance and lonesome tenor vocals create the perfect blend of beautiful rainy day Country.
Comedy: Greg Davies, Colston Hall, 8pm, Wednesday 24th January, £29.56 inc. booking fee
Easily one of the tallest men in comedy, Greg Davies revels in telling anecdotes of his days as a teacher, and Davies won over the comedy heart of the UK in 2008 after playing one in the multi-award winning show The Inbetweeners. He’s now the Taskmaster on Dave, as well as the star of his own sit-com ‘Man Down’. Davies’ new show ‘You Magnificent Beast’ follows 2013’s ‘The Back of My Mum’s Head’ tour, which received rave reviews. Comedy fans can’t afford to miss this!
Classical: Academy of St Martin in The Fields, Colston Hall, 7:30pm, Thursday 25th January, £1 - £42.00 inc. booking fee
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s greatest chamber orchestras, renowned for fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s best classical music. Joining The Academy on stage is Joshua Bell, whose career spans more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. They will be performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Edgar Meyer’s new composition Overture for Violin and Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.
Industry Event: Urban Development x Multi-Track Industry Takeover seminar – ‘Benefits of Live and Getting a Gig’, Engine Shed, 6:30pm, Thursday 25th January, £3 inc. booking fee
In the final instalment of this series of Industry Takeover Seminars presented by Multi-Track and Urban Development, the panel of music industry insiders discuss the importance of promoting your music through live performance. New artists need to build a fanbase and the best way to do that is to get on stage. Chaired by Chris Cooke of CMU:DIY, the cherry-picked panel look at how to stage a gig or club night and how to get booked by promoters, venues and festivals.
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, Silent Comedy Gala, Colston Hall, 7:30pm, Friday 26th January, £10.50 - £60.00 inc. booking fee
Our host for this year’s gala show is the award-winning punster Tim Vine who introduces an incredible triple-bill of laugh-out-loud comedy classics all accompanied by world class live music. Buster Keaton’s best loved and most innovative film Sherlock Jr (1924) joins Charlie Chaplin’s A Dog’s Life (1918). The screening of Sherlock Jr is accompanied by the world premiere of a new, semi-improvised score composed by Guenter A. Buchwald and performed by the renowned European Silent Screen Virtuosi and members of Bristol Ensemble. These are joined by Laurel & Hardy’s hilarious comedy short Angora Love (1929) and live performance from innovative, award-winning visual comedy performers The Kagools.
Folk: Martin Hayes Quartet, The Lantern, 8pm, Friday 26th January, £20.96 inc. booking fee
Since picking up a fiddle at the tender age of 7, Martin Hayes has gone on to be one of the most significant figures in traditional Irish music. The Quartet expands on his long-standing collaboration with guitarist Dennis Cahill, adding in Liz Knowles’ viola and Doug Wieselman’s rich and sonorous bass clarinet. The result is a masterclass in interpretation as traditional melodies are revived with fresh emotion.
Rock and Pop: Asian Dub Foundation ‘La Haine’ Live Soundtrack, Anson Rooms, 8:00pm, Friday 26th January, £21.50 inc. booking fee
Asian Dub Foundation present their acclaimed re-imagined score to cult movie La Haine. This incredible live show brings together a screening of this iconic French film and a new realisation of the original soundtrack played live by the band, for a unique and powerful journey into the tension-filled world of the Parisian suburbs. ADF’s acclaimed visual-live set to La Haine has been performed all over the world and makes a welcome return to the stage in 2018.
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, Ronnie Golden, The Lantern, 5:30pm, Saturday 27th January, £7.00-£9.00 inc. booking fee
Featuring in this year’s eclectic Slapstick Festival is Ronnie Golden, often known these days as comedy legend Barry Cryer’s uncivil partner in comedy, Golden is a virtuoso rock guitarist whose career has seen him play with Chuck Berry, tour with Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck and famously out-sell the Jam and the Clash with The Fabulous Poodles back in the good old, bad old, days of punk. Golden has been called an excellent musical mimic who can slip into any style he chooses.
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, Lee Mack’s Laurel and Hardy Classics, Colston Hall, 7pm, Saturday 27th January 2018, £10.00- £25.50 inc. booking fee
Slapstick Festival are delighted to welcome comedian and writer Lee Mack as he hosts this special one-off event celebrating two of his top comedy heroes, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Best known for his stand up comedy, writing and starring in the long running sitcom ‘Not Going Out’, Lee brings the timeless Stan and Ollie back to the big screen where they belong, in front of a live audience. The evening is completed by live music from Guenter A. Buchwald and the European Silent Screen Virtuosi.
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Colston Hall, 9:15pm, Saturday 27th January £10.00- £60.00 inc. booking fee
This January Bristol’s Slapstick Festival is celebrating the role of ‘music in film’ and what film better reflects the perfect mixture of genres than this undisputed screen classic. Along with a complete screening of the film, original cast member and Transylvanian party guest Christopher Biggins joins us onstage to reveal his fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes before the film commences. With pre-show live entertainment in the foyer too… it’s a Rocky Horror night to remember!
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, When You Fall Down- James Dangerfeld, The Lantern, 3:30pm, Saturday 27th January, £10.00-£12.00 inc. booking fee
Multi-talented actor, singer and musician James Dangerfeld appeared as Michael Gove in ‘Brexit The Musical’, a sellout success at the Edinburgh Fringe, and premiered ‘When You Fall Down’, his own one man musical about Buster Keaton. Inspired by the film career of Keaton, James Dangerfield has created a musical that explores the silent star’s life and career. The show follows Keaton’s life from his first filmmaking experiences in 1917 to his signing on with MGM 11 years later. ‘When You Fall Down’ is both a historical and comedic addition to this year’s stellar Slapstick festival line-up.
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, Young Slapstick, Silent Comedy Mayhem, The Lantern, 9:30pm, Saturday 27th January, £2.49 inc. booking fee
This programme features a selection of the fastest and funniest silent comedies featuring Buster Keaton’s hilarious Neighbours (1920) and Charlie Chaplin’s classic ‘The Adventurer’ (1917). Comedian Mark Olver hosts this special introductory event for young people and families with clips featuring fantastic pratfalls, stunts and laugh out loud moments for all the family.
Comedy: Young Slapstick Workshop, The Lantern, 11:00am, Saturday 27th January, £5 inc. booking fee
Following Silent Comedy Mayhem hosted by comedian Mark Olver, there will be the opportunity for those aged 8 – 11 years, feeling inspired and wishing to hone their Slapstick skills to attend a very special pratfall and slapstick workshop with Circomedia. Tickets for this workshop are £5.00 and allows entry to earlier screening of Silent Comedy Mayhem.
Comedy: Slapstick Festival, Punch and Judy, The Foyer, 2pm -3pm, Saturday 27th January
Prof Patel is Britain’s first Asian Punch & Judy Professor – he performs both a traditional British style Punch show and also his own unique version using characters drawn from the diversity of modern day Britain. Presenting Mr Punch in a traditional style but pulling him firmly into the 21st century and multicultural Britain with a dash of Bollywood panache. For this special celebration of early slapstick we present both versions in two free performances in the foyer.
Classical: The Orchestra Pitts, Colston Hall, 9:15am rehearsal & 4pm performance, Sunday 28th January, £20 for performers, free for audience
In the ninth year of this massive event, David Pitts leads an orchestra of nearly 250 amateur musicians join a chorus of 280 singers for one day only. The ensemble rehearse during the day (9.30 start) and then put on a free concert at 4pm. Donations are encouraged and past concerts have raised over £10,000 for charity. The varied music programme has in the past included Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Meistersingers Overture, Liberty Bell, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hallelujah Chorus, Mozart Requiem and Zadok the Priest.
Folk: Band of Burns, The Lantern, 8pm, Monday 29th January, £18.81-£23.65 inc. booking fee
Band of Burns is an international collaboration between 12 folk musicians celebrating the life and work of Scottish national poet Robert Burns. After playing on the same international music circuits for years, it was the philosophy and art of Robert Burns that united this ensemble of twelve, top folk artists. Band of Burns will perform arresting new versions of classic Burns songs that celebrate his message of equality and social justice.
Rock and Pop: LIIMA, The Lantern, 8pm, Thursday 30th January, £13.44 inc. booking fee
LIIMA is the new band of Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö and Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg of Efterklang. Since 2003, they have been at the forefront of musical exploration. Liima combines the stirring, cinematic soundscapes of Danish indie synth-pop group Efterklang with Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö’s chaotic and unpredictable instrumentation.