Slapstick 2022

Slapstick 2022

Celebrating its 18th year and now back in Bristol’s best venues, the annual Slapstick Festival offers a chance to see some essential comedies from cinema’s silent era, specially selected from archives across the world and paired with live musical accompaniment.

Kicking off in January 2022, the festival features a packed programme which, amongst other treats, includes a celebration of pioneering women in comedy with guest hosts such as actors Sally Phillips and Ronni Ancona, stand up comedian Lucy Porter and writer Sian Norris.

Bill Oddie will be returning to Bristol with a Slapstick lecture in collaboration with the Bristol Festival of Ideas, analysing the use of violence in physical comedy. Oddie will also be joining Aardman Animations' Peter Lord as they co-host an event looking at pioneering early animation.

Slapstick 2022 takes place across four venues; Watershed, St George’s Bristol, Redgrave Theatre and Bristol Cathedral. You can view the programme at

Upcoming events in this season

Live from New York: Ben & Steve
Tue 25 Jan 17:30
Ben Model and Steve Massa join us live from New York as they live-stream their latest discoveries in silent comedy from their homes into Watershed in this Pre-Festival special event.
Silent Ozu: Days of Youth (1929)
Wed 26 Jan 10:30
The oldest known surviving film by legendary Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu.
Max Linder : Be My Wife
Wed 26 Jan 13:20
Max Linder writes, directs and stars in the second of his three American films.

My Grandmother

Slapstick 2022
My Grandmother
Wed 26 Jan 15:30
An avant-garde gem of early Soviet Union filmmaking, banned for almost 50 years for some not so subtle political criticism.
The Circus
Wed 26 Jan 17:20
Charlie Chaplin once again dons his iconic ‘Tramp’ character in his 1928 film The Circus.
Gangsta Molls
Thu 27 Jan 10:00
This Czechoslovakian silent comedy stars Anny Ondra, who later became one of Hitchcock's leads in his classic silent thriller Blackmail.
First Women in Comedy
Thu 27 Jan 13:00
Lucy Porter and Sian Norris present a series of short films celebrating pioneering women in film comedy.
Slapstick’s Silent Comedy Classics: Kid Brother 1927
Thu 27 Jan 15:00
Slapstick legend Harold Lloyd stars in one of the greatest ever silent comedies.
WC Fields Sally of the Sawdust (1925)
Fri 28 Jan 10:00
The irascible and immensely talented W.C Fields stars alongside silent film darling Carol Dempster as they form a sort of father/daughter relationship in Sally of the Sawdust.

The Patsy

Slapstick 2022
The Patsy (1929)
Fri 28 Jan 13:00
Following the gala screening of Show People at The Cathedral, the iconic Marion Davies shines in one of the best of her many collaborations with director King Vidor.
Buster Keaton Andrew Kelly in Conversation with Keaton Biographer James Curtis
Fri 28 Jan 15:30
James Curtis, a biographer whose latest work is Buster Keaton: A Filmmakers' Life, joins us live from California on Zoom for an in conversation event with Andrew Kelly, director of Bristol Ideas.
Slapstick Lecture:The Cameraman
Sat 29 Jan 09:30
The Cameraman (1928) was the first film Buster Keaton made as an employee at Hollywood’s most glamorous studio, MGM. This presentation explores the reasons for Keaton’s move to MGM and the difficult conditions under which he worked there.
The Real Charlie Chaplin
Sat 29 Jan 11:15
A look at the life and work of the one and only Charlie Chaplin in his own words, featuring an in-depth interview he gave to Life Magazine in 1966.
It’s Only Funny If It Hurts
Sat 29 Jan 14:00
Why do we laugh at the physical misfortune of others? Bill Oddie will explore who we we laugh at the physical misfortune of others in this 'comedy lecture'.
Animation Fanatics with Peter Lord and Bill Oddie
Sun 30 Jan 09:30
Peter Lord (co-founder of Aardman Animations) and Bill Oddie (The Goodies) celebrate early animation and the unique blend of surrealism and visual comedy that animation does best.

Tickets: £4.00 - £8.50.

Special offers:

Buy a Silent Comedy Pass for £92. A Silent Comedy Pass includes tickets to all events at Watershed and Bristol Cathedral (except David Mitchell’s Comedy Moments).

Buy a Slapstick Full Pass for £186. A Slapstick Full Pass includes tickets to all events at Watershed, Bristol Cathedral, Redgrave Theatre and St Georges (except Paddington) and the pre-festival event Ben & Steve Live from New York.