Buster Keaton in ‘The General’ – with live musical accompaniment

Silent Cinema – Buster Keaton in ‘The General’

Live musical accompaniment by Andrew Harrison-King. Introduction and post-screening discussion by Peter Krämer.

Prepare to be transported back in time to the golden age of silent cinema, where laughter reigns supreme and the stunts are as daring as they are hilarious! We invite you to embark on an unforgettable journey with one of the greatest comedians of all time, Buster Keaton, in his 1926 masterpiece, ‘The General’, accompanied by a captivating soundtrack on the grand piano, played by Andrew Harrison-King.

Imagine the thrill of witnessing Keaton’s signature blend of daring stunts and impeccable timing, all brought to life by the masterful touch of a live pianist. The piano keys will become an extension of the film, evoking the emotions of the characters, amplifying the tension, and heightening the comedic genius of Keaton’s performance.

Keaton’s genius lies in his ability to transform everyday objects into tools of comedic mayhem, and in ‘The General’, he takes centre stage as a hapless hero navigating the chaos of the American Civil War with his trademark acrobatics and deadpan humour.

There will be a pre show introduction and post-show screening by academic, Peter Krämer. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the film and the man behind the magic.

So, settle into your seats, let the music carry you away, and prepare to be amazed by the timeless genius of Buster Keaton in The General. This is silent cinema at its finest, a true cinematic treasure that will leave you breathless with laughter and awe.

When: Sunday 11th February, doors open from 3.30pm, show starts at 4.00pm
Running Time: Approx. 2hrs 20mins including introduction and post show discussion.
Where: The Medieval Hall, Cathedral Close Salisbury.
Tickets: £18

The Film

A meticulous recreation of a famous episode from the American Civil War, The General (1926) was co-written and directed by Buster Keaton, who also starred in it as a Southern locomotive engineer whose life is disrupted by the outbreak of hostilities. A unique blend of Keaton’s characteristic ‘frozen-faced’ performance and stunning acrobatics, cleverly staged and spectacular action, beautiful landscapes, physical humour and tender moments, the film tells a moving story about love and war. Strongly criticised by many reviewers in 1927, since its re-release in the 1960s The General has come to be recognised as one of the greatest achievements of American silent cinema.

Andrew Harrison-King

Andrew studied music at the University of Surrey, graduating with a master’s degree in 2011.
He has accompanied silent films for a decade, with performances at venues including the Lighthouse arts centre in Poole and the Regal Cinema in Fordingbridge. He regularly plays for performances by local drama groups.

Peter Krämer

Peter Krämer is a Senior Research Fellow in Cinema & TV in the Leicester Media School at De Montfort University. He also is a Senior Fellow at the University of East Anglia and a regular guest lecturer at several other universities in the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic. He is a leading expert on the films of Buster Keaton. He has been interviewed for Blu-ray extras and given many public presentations on Keaton, and he has published numerous essays as well as the BFI Film Classic on The General.

Additional Details

There is no parking at Arundells or the Medieval Hall, we recommend using city centre car parks.

Please note that The Medieval Hall is fully accessible to visitors with impaired mobility but it does not have wheelchair friendly toilet facilities. An accessible toilet will, however, be available at Arundells throughout the event.

All tickets are non refundable but you are very welcome to pass them on to friends or family if you are unable to attend.

11 February 2024 - 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Medieval Hall

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Event Contact
Luke Futcher


A beautiful Grade II listed house with two acres of garden in the heart of Salisbury and the former home of Sir Edward Heath. Hosting musical events year-round – from jazz in the garden to intimate piano concerts performed on the Steinway piano.