Slapstick 2019

Wed 16 - Sun 20 Jan
Slapstick 2019

Celebrating its 15th year, Bristol’s annual Slapstick Festival offers a chance to see some truly essential comedies from cinema’s silent era selected from archives across the world and accompanied by world class musical musicians.

As well as events at Watershed, the festival takes place at venues around the city centre including Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Cathedral and Bristol Old Vic. You can view the full programme at


If you are passionate about slapstick and silent comedy then you might consider buying a festival pass. There are two options: the Silent Comedy Pass featuring all 17 events held from Thursday to Sunday at Watershed plus the opening night at Bristol Cathedral and a Full Slapstick Pass which includes tickets to all 33 Slapstick events over 5 days and has the additional bonuses of premium seating at Bristol Old Vic (i.e. great seats!) and a free 2019 Festival T-Shirt as a big ‘thank you’ for supporting the festival.


£80.00 - Includes tickets to all 17 events at Watershed and the opening night event at Bristol Cathedral (listed below).

Buy your Silent Comedy pass here.


£200 - Includes tickets to all events held at Watershed and Bristol Cathedral PLUS all events held between 18-20 January at Bristol Old Vic.

Buy your Full Slapstick pass here.

You will need to collect your pass and tickets from Watershed Box Office these will be available for collection from Monday 14th January.

Watershed operates an unallocated seating system as does Bristol Cathedral event. For the Old Vic events you will be given the same seat for all events, this will be in the front of the Pit - so best seats in the house!

If you have any access requirements please contact us via or Phone us on 0117 927 5100 and we will make arrangements on your behalf at all the venues.

Upcoming screenings & events in this Season

Chaplin: A King In New York U

Film Chaplin: A King In New York

Wed 16 Jan 2019 10:50

We’re opening the 15th edition of the Slapstick Festival with… a talkie! Charlie Chaplin’s take on 1950s America, A King in New York stars Chaplin as a peaceable king who runs afoul of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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Keaton: Battling Butler U

Film Keaton:Battling Butler

Wed 16 Jan 2019 13:30

Buster Keaton found rich possibilities for physical comedy in this tale of a wealthy milquetoast who is forced, through a series of outlandish coincidences and misunderstandings, to train as a boxer.

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Holy Smoke! Religion & Comedy U

Film Holy Smoke! Religion & Comedy

Wed 16 Jan 2019 16:00

Following a screening of Chaplin’s The Pilgrim (1923) comedians Robin Ince and Lucy Porter join Andrew Kelly (Director of Bristol Festival of Ideas) to explore whether ‘being funny’ is justification for mocking religion, or if there are some things comedy should not touch.

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For Heaven's Sake! Slapstick at the Cathedral

Film For Heaven's Sake! Slapstick at the Cathedral

Wed 16 Jan 2019 19:30

Join us for an evening of unadulterated cinematic joy. Sit back in the grandeur of Bristol Cathedral and enjoy three classic silent comedies on the big screen accompanied by live music.

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Rediscovering Alice Howell 12A

Talk Rediscovering Alice Howell

Thu 17 Jan 2019 09:30

Join standup comedian and writer Lucy Porter as she introduces a selection of the funniest, newly restored, comedy shorts as she champions the rarely seen, yet prolific, comedy performer - Alice Howell

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Mary Pickford: Little Annie Roonie 12A

Film Mary Pickford: Little Annie Roonie

Thu 17 Jan 2019 11:30

Academy Award winner Mary Pickford plays a tomboy of the tenements facing a crisis of the heart when the boy she loves is accused of shooting her policeman father in this classic comedy drama.

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On the Trail of Cunégonde 12A

Talk On the Trail of Cunégonde

Thu 17 Jan 2019 14:00

Discover this extraordinary story about a mysterious woman who was internationally acclaimed in her time for her role in a string of comedies featuring a main character called Cunégonde, but then lost for more than a century.

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Robin Ince: I'm a Joke And So Are You (Part 2)

Talk Robin Ince: I'm a Joke And So Are You (Part 2)

Thu 17 Jan 2019 16:30

A celebration of comedy and its ability to connect people via foolishness and silly voices, join Robin as he attempts to examine the human condition through the prism of humour.

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Les Deux Timides 12A

Film Les Deux Timides (1928)

Thu 17 Jan 2019 18:30

This bold comedy of shy lovers is René Clair’s silent masterpiece, folding the avant-garde and the comic into a delightful, expertly judged tale of provincial romance and misapprehension.

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Happiness 12A

Film Happiness (1934)

Thu 17 Jan 2019 20:45

In this Russian comedy-drama a hapless loser (with the surname of Loser) undergoes a series of misadventures with avaricious clergy, a tired horse, and a stolen granary (among other things) on his road toward collectivised happiness.

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Sydney, the Other Chaplin 12A

Film Sydney, the Other Chaplin (2017)

Fri 18 Jan 2019 09:30

Would Charlie Chaplin have ever reached his heights of success if it weren't for his big brother, Sydney? An improbable character inhabiting the shadows with a fiction-like destiny, Sydney’s chequered life and role behind the scenes of the most recognised comic character in the world, is explored in this new documentary.

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Honest Hutch 12A

Film Honest Hutch (1920)

Fri 18 Jan 2019 11:30

One of the most popular figures in the United States of the 1930s, Will Rogers stars as a lazy good for nothing patriarch of his long-suffering family in this rare silent comedy western.

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A Celebration of Steamboat Bill, Jr. U

Talk Neil Brand Presents Buster Keaton

Fri 18 Jan 2019 12:50

Peter Krämer, the author of the BFI Film Classics volume on Buster Keaton’s The General, makes a welcome return to Slapstick Festival to discuss one of Buster’s most accomplished works - Steamboat Bill, Jr.

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Stan 12A

Film Stan

Fri 18 Jan 2019 14:00

To accompany the release of Stan & Ollie, a new biopic on the world's greatest comedy duo, we’re revisiting the celebrated 2006 BBC drama about the pair from silent film maestro and writer Neil Brand.

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Lost and Found 12A

Film Lost and Found

Fri 18 Jan 2019 16:30

Join film collector Anthony Saffrey and film historian David Robinson for this selection of rare and unseen silent comedy gems.

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Early Slapstick Animation PG

Film Early Mickey

Sat 19 Jan 2019 09:30

In this event, Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman, will present some unusual gems from the early, magical days of animation – featuring a cast of cats, rabbits, and of course one very famous mouse.

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Young Slapstick: Meet Charlie! U

Event Chaplin's The Kid: The Inside Story

Sat 19 Jan 2019 11:30

Families and kids are invited to join film historian and Chaplin biographer David Robinson as he introduces the man with a funny walk, Charlie Chaplin, in this fun afternoon of chat and films, specially designed for under 12s. Delight as you discover why, a century on, Chaplin is still funny to audiences both old and young alike.

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Lost Heroes of Comedy 12A

Film Lost Heroes of Comedy

Sun 20 Jan 2019 09:30

Three forgotten comedy stars from the silent days of Hollywood to the comedy club boom come under the spotlight in this affectionate tribute by comedy historian Robert Ross.

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