News: Barry Cryer Cancels Slapstick Festival Appearance

National comedy treasure Barry Cryer will be missing from the line-up of Bristol’s annual Slapstick festival for the first time in 10 years next week after being warned by his doctors against performing so soon after undergoing an operation to repair the hip he broke in a fall in November. 

Cryer, 83, was due to appear at the Bristol Old Vic on the festival’s closing day, Sunday 20 January, in a gags and songs show with his I’M SORRY I HAVEN’T A CLUE colleague, the pianist Colin Sell – his first public event since the fall which left him needing surgery to pin his hip back together.

But Slapstick’s director Chris Daniels announced today: “Despite Bazza’s insistence all along that the show must go on, he’s finally decided to heed family and medical advice and take a bit longer to mend. As a result, we’re bringing forward the start time of the event which was to have taken place after his – a screening of Laurel & Hardy favourites, introduced by Richard Herring and other festival guests and with Colin Sell still coming along, to accompany one of the films live on the piano.” 

He added: “Veteran trooper that he is, Barry is very sorry to disappoint the many people who look forward to his regular appearances at Slapstick but he genuinely is a national treasure and we’re sure all of his fans will understand and respect that we need to make sure Baz makes a full recovery and continues to entertain us for many more years.”

The Bristol Old Vic box office team will be contacting ticket holders to offer refunds or the option to transfer to another of the 30+ shows being staged as part of Slapstick 2019, including the Laurel & Hardy screening now starting at 8pm. 

As well as being a Slapstick regular, Barry Cryer is also a patron of the festival and in 2015 received its highest honour – the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award – in respect his five decade spanning career as a comedy performer and gag and sketch writer for such other stars as Dave Allen, Tommy Cooper, Billy Connolly, Morecambe and Wise, Bruce Forsyth and Kenny Everett.

Slapstick is at not-for-profit festival held annually in Bristol since 2005 and now recognised as the UK’s biggest celebration of silent, visual and classic screen comedy. This year’s festival runs from January 16 to 20, with an extra helping on Sunday 10 February, The festival’s main sponsors are the BFI, using National Lottery funding, and Aardman.

For more details, see; find Slapstick Festival on Facebook or follow @SlapstickFest on Twitter/Instagram.




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