Not-so-silent night

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Bristol's internationally renowned Silent Comedy Gala returns - get ready for a Slapstick Festival like you've never seen...

Bristol’s famous Slapstick Festival returns for a momentous 13th edition, dishing out rib-tickling performances and double helpings of belly laughs for all-comers! Whether you’re new to the medium or a seasoned vet, there’ll be something to amaze you, that’s for sure.

This year there’s an uproarious cavalcade of delights, with celebrations of slapstick and silent comedy’s brightest stars, from Laurel & Hardy to Buster Keaton — as well as some proper classics, including Simon Callow presenting shorts by Charlie Chaplin. This year features silent comedy from across the globe and a range of modern funnymen and women championing their heroes.

This year the event pays tribute to three of the art’s greatest icons who’ve sadly departed: Rik Mayall, Victoria Wood, and Pierre Étaix, the French clown and filmmaker and recipient of the 2012 Aardman Slapstick Visual Comedy Award. There are panels, screenings and conversations that will help you enjoy the contributions of three of comedy’s greatest talents.

This year’s Silent Comedy Gala is presented by Rory Bremner with special guest Roy Hudd — the unique celebration of laughter will feature a golden triple bill of big films, including The Freshman, which is being shown alongside an orchestra who are performing a score composed by Carl Davis. Hudd will be making a rare appearance to perform as the iconic music hall treasure Max Miller.

As well as regular attendees, such as Bill Oddie, Neil Innes, Barry Cryer and Marcus Brigstocke, the 2017 edition of the Slapstick Festival welcomes new faces, including Alexei Sayle and Shazia Mirza.

Festival Director Chris Daniels writes ahead of the festival: “I trust you’ll enjoy this eclectic, passionate and joyous celebration of all things silent, comedic, slapstick, visual and classic comedy. In our 13th year it’s wonderful to still be here and to see there is more demand than ever for the festival. 2016 broke attendance records with nearly 7,000 people attending.”

Make sure to have a good long look at the programme and book quickly to avoid disappointment! Events are ticketed separately; festival passes are also available.

When: 18–22 January 

Where: Colston Hall, Watershed, Bristol Old Vic, Barbican Cinema 

Website: www.slapstick.org.uk 

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