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Slapstick Festival – Silent Comedy Gala

February 16, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

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.


February 16
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm


Bristol Beacon
Trenchard Street
Bristol, BS1 5AR United Kingdom
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0117 203 4040
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