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Stephen Fry joins Slapstick 2015 guest list

Published on Tuesday, 25th November 2014
Stephen Fry joins the already star-rich guest list for Bristol?s four-day Slapstick festival to perform at an event marking the 20th anniversary of the death in a fire of one of his comedy heroes, onetime Bristol resident Vivian Stanshall.

Actor, author and broadcaster Stephen Fry is the latest celebrity to agree to take part in Britain’s biggest festival of silent and vintage screen comedy – Slapstick – when its 11th annual edition is staged in Bristol from 22 to 25 January next year.

He is joining a festival guest list which already includes leading comics Chris Addison, Denise Coffey, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, The Goodies, Reeves and Mortimer, Griff Rhys Jones and Victoria Wood to salute one of his own comedy heroes: Vivian Stanshall, killed in a fire 20 years ago

Stephen Fry’s visit will be on Sunday 25 January for GINGER GEEZER - happening at Bristol Old Vic, King Street – less than a 10 minute walk away from the converted cargo ship on which Vivian and his family lived in the 1980s and ran as a venue for music, theatre, poetry, comedy and cabaret.

Explaining his decision to perform at the event, Stephen Fry said:   “Vivian Stanshall saved my life. Alone at school, his Mullard-valve-warming voice, his poetic expression, his majesty, madness, tone, dignity and verbal sloshings, sluicings and whooshings made me happier than I can ever say.

His name should live long in legend and song. While I breathe, and while thousands of other worshippers at the shrine of this all too mortal immortal breathe,  and pass on the news, then his great name, flaming beard and divinely honeyed larynx and language will never perish from the hearts and minds of humankind.”

Others taking part in the tribute will include Neil Innes, who worked with Viv in the anarchically funny Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and on the surreal tv show DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET before becoming the music-maker to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, plus the Bonzo’s sax player Rodney Slater and Mike Livesley, creator of a show based on Viv’s SIR HENRY AT RAWLINSON’S END sketches, first aired on BBC Radio One’s The John Peel Show.

Tickets for GINGER GEEZER are on sale now, priced £15, from Bristol Old Vic’s box office, www.bristololdvic.org.uk; telephone 0117 987 78770117 987 7877.

GINGER GEEZER is one of eight Slapstick events taking place at Bristol Old Vic on the Saturday and Sunday of the four-day Slapstick 2015 festival.  Also happening at the venue are shows featuring Victoria Wood, Griff Rhys Jones, The Goodies, Barry Cryer, Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves.

For details of the festival’s full programme, including a Silent Comedy Gala at the Colston Hall that will be hosted by Chris Addison, please see www.slapstick.org.uk or look out for the free brochure at information points across the city.