News: Slapstick Festival Not Ending But Looking For New Venue

slapstick

Bristol’s Slapstick Festival has confirmed that the Silent Comedy Gala it is staging at the Hippodrome on Sunday (tonight) with Marcus Brigstocke as host will be the last until 2021 at the earliest.  The classic films and live music event has been the centre-piece of every Slapstick since the festival began 15 years ago and regularly attracts big name hosts and an audience of more than 1,500.

But in previous years it has always been held at Colston Hall – one of the few local venues able to accommodate both a large screen and full orchestra – and currently closed for a major refurbishment. The Gala was saved this year by moving it away from the main festival, in January,  and to the Hippodrome but the Hippodrome is unable to provide a suitable date for 2020 and it is not yet certain when Colston Hall will re-open.   

Festival director Chris Daniels said: “We’re sad. Our Silent Comedy Gala is a highpoint in Bristol’s cultural calendar and has brought a lot of stand-out talent to the city as hosts – among them Chris Addison, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rory Bremner, Omid Djallili and Victoria Wood. But we need a big stage to hold a giant screen and 40-piece orchestra and a sizeable auditorium to ensure ticket sales cover the costs. So with Colston Hall closed and the Hippodrome unavailable we have no option but to pause. The festival will still go ahead in 2020, of course, and we’re very hopeful of bringing the Gala back before too long.

The main film showing at Sunday’s event is Charlie Chaplin’s MODERN TIMES with host Marcus Brigstocke also introducing shorts starring Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton– all accompanied by live music from the Bristol Ensemble and European Silent Screen Virtuosi.  

This follows the recent news that the annual Craft of Comedy Conference in Llandudno will not be happening this year. Founder Steve Doherty tweeted: "It is with regret that we announce there will be no Craft of Comedy UK event at Llandudno in 2019. We remain grateful to the support of our previous sponsors, speakers and loyal audiences, but the event is not, currently, financially viable. We are looking at ways to make it so and will make further announcements if we are successful. We believed in what we achieved. We built it – and they came. But not enough of them."

Buy tickets for tonight's Gala here.  

 

 

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