Last month, things were looking pretty desperate for Bristol’s Slapstick Festival of classic and silent comedy. Robbed by Covid-19 of the opportunity to stage the fundraisers that are vital to finance the much-needed annual January outbreak of mirth, director Chris Daniels was staring into the abyss.
Then he came up with the idea of staging the Big Comedy Night In – a pay-to-view virtual fundraiser. An impressive line-up of celebs volunteered their services, including Frankie Boyle, Jo Brand, Rob Brydon, Stephen Fry, Harry Hill, Lucy Porter, Paul McGann, Matt Lucas, Lee Mack, Stephen Merchant and Michael Palin. But at a time when many are feeling the pinch, would punters actually be prepared to shell out the £5,000 necessary to keep the show on the road?
The answer was a resounding yes. When the beans were counted after the September 27 event, 210% of the target had been raised. With nearly £11,000 in the kitty, Slapstick 2021 is now guaranteed to go ahead in January. Go here to listen to Graeme Garden’s heartfelt message of thanks.
“It will, of course, be a different festival to those of previous years, but at heart it will be the same Slapstick you all know and love,” says Chris. The likelihood is that it will be a mix of live and virtual events running over an extended period from January 10-31. Watch this space for more details as we get them.
Images supplied by Slapstick.