Downton Abbey, The Gold and Paddington star Hugh Bonneville introduces a triple bill of laugh-out-loud silent comedy classics, back in the auditorium where Slapstick began and with each showing on a giant screen with live musical accompaniment.
Topping the film bill at the Slapstick’s 20th gala will be the double Oscar-nominated THE GOLD RUSH (1925), written and directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin as a lone Klondike prospector who discovers it is easier to find trouble than gold, and featuring a real bear and dancing bread rolls.
Joining it in the line-up will be the 1922 short COPS which finds an impressively acrobatic Buster Keaton being chased by a city’s entire police force, and BIG BUSINESS (1929), starring Laurel & Hardy as hilariously incompetent Christmas tree salesmen.
Providing the live musical accompaniment for The Gold Rush will be the 16-piece Bristol Ensemble, conducted by Günter A. Buchwald, with pianist John Sweeney accompanying COPS and Günter and Frank Bockius playing for Big Business.
There will also be pre-interval entertainment from Cheryl Knight, giving excerpts from her Joyce Grenfell tribute show which proved such a hit at Slapstick 2023 and, in the foyer before curtain-up, the Bristol-based Shanghai Shuffle jazz band performing tunes from the silent film era.
Foyer entertainment from 6pm from Shanghai Shuffle.