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Welcome to the official home of the Bath Comedy Festival

Welcome to the home of Bath Comedy - for both the Spring time Bath Comedy Festival and events throughout the year.

Bath Comedy Festival 2018 will be our 10th birthday and will run for 20 days, from Tuesday 27th March - Sunday 15th April 2018.

As always, there's usually something going on all year round - check out our what's on pages!

Latest News

Bath Comedy - Autumn/Winter Season

We've got more cracking comedy, music and food shows in store for you this Autumn and Winter:

Mik Artistik Thurs 9th November - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Mik Artistik's Ego Trip & The BelleFleurs
Glastonbury favourites return with their madcap mix of music, comedy, and straws! Incredibly daft, joyful, and sometimes poignant, or "as mad as a wasp trapped under a pint glass" (BBC 6Music)
Supported by The BelleFleurs - Bath's favourite corset-wearing trio, slowly bringing the Andrews Sisters' songbook up to date!

Bonbon's Baubles Christmas Cabaret Thurs 30th November - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Bonbon's Baubles Christmas Cabaret
The legendary Bonbon Cabaret is back for a Christmas special, with a scintillating array of music and comedy. Rumour has it both Lady Margaret and Monsieur Le Bonbon will be in attendance, and after a welcome from the Widcombe Choir, acts include musical maestro Matt Baker, The ineffable Widcombe Radio Players and headline stand-up comedian Martin Mor.

Bonbon's Bonkers Burns Night Thurs 25th January 2018 - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Bonbon's Bonkers Burns Night
Celebrate the birthday of the Bard of Ayrshire in traditional style with a twist! Enjoy a fabulous three course supper featuring Cullen Skink, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and delicious Cranachan. All the trimmings are included: quality toasting whisky, tartan tableware, Irn Bru, Edinburgh rock, plus a reasonably priced pay bar. Lots of entertainment is included throughout the evening including the unique Danish stand-up comedian and highland piper Claus Reiss! Find out more.

Keep your eye on the what's on pages for more.

Big Bath Cheese Trail - Winners Announced

Congratulations to Pat & Malcolm Lees, who won a big 5kg cheese when their entry was drawn from all the fully completed trail questionnaires!

Runners up were also drawn out of a hat, and these lucky people received a 1kg cheese each:
Elaine Alexander (Batheaston)
Pauline Vincent (Lower Bristol Road)
Brett Van Drie (Larkhall)
Tay McLean (Larkhall)
Steve Swift (Claverton)
In addition, a special prize cheese was awarded to Martina Sosio for being the entrant from furthest away from Bath (Italy)

Photo: Liz Bugg

L-R Ralph Oswick (Associate Director, Bath Comedy), Pat Lees, Malcolm Lees, Nick Steel (Director, Bath Comedy), Chris Davies (Chairman, Bath-Alkmaar Twinning Association), Leslie Redwood (Head of Partnerships, Visit Bath)

You can download the answers to the trail questionnaire by clicking here.

Bath Comedy Festival Photo Galleries

We're still collecting photos from this year's Festival but here are some galleries we've already put together. You don't need to have a Facebook account to view them:

2017 Bath Comedy Festival Opening Night

The Wine Arts Trail 2017

2017 New Act Competition Final

2017 Bath Plug Award - Barry Cryer

Archived News

Bath Comedy - Edinburgh Previews

Get a true taste of Edinburgh Fringe, with nine preview shows over four days - catch them here before they go to perform their Fringe runs:

All the preview shows are free entry on the day (pay-what-you-feel donations at end), or you can secure a seat in advance for £5 - see show details for booking links.

Phil Cooper Mon 24th July - 7.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Phil Cooper
Phil's show explores his own anxieties, his childhood, and the effect of global politics on the future of Wales.
"Made comedy look simple, fantastic talent" - Fosters Comedy

Chris Chopping Mon 24th July - 8.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Chris Chopping
After learning his comedy craft up and down the country plus a brief foray into Welsh language television (don't ask) Chris is taking his debut hour to this years Edinburgh Fringe.
It's a show full of pithy insecurities, impotent rage and a certain amount of erudite smut.

George Rigden Mon 24th July - 9.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

George Rigden - Comic Sans Girlfriend
George brings his uniquely debauched brand of "musical comedy" to Bath for his work-in-progress show. Expect laughs, tears and a mean-spirited & slightly overweight man questioning why he's still alone.
"Deliciously dark" - Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke

Anna Morris Tues 25th July - 7.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Anna Morris - Bitchelors
Critically acclaimed character comic and creator of the award winning, international sell-out 5* show 'It's Got To Be Perfect' returns to Bath.
Four characters compete for the Women of the Year Awards, hosted by Georgina the Bride and judged by YOU the audience.

Bilal Zafar Tues 25th July - 9.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Bilal Zafar - Biscuit
After the huge success of his debut show 'Cakes', Bilal returns to explore the fascinating world of online dating and finding love on social media in increasingly confusing times.
"Catch him before he hits the mainstream" - Guardian

Elf Lyons Wed 26th July - 7.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Elf Lyons - New Show
The Giraffe-limbed clown and raconteur is previewing her most eccentric comedy show yet.
"Endearingly eccentric on so many levels" - Fest

Matt Price Wed 26th July - 9.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Matt Price - The Weed Fairy
This show is a true story about knowing when to let go and learning to dance like nobody is watching, even though they definitely are. Will feature a life coach, a pensioner and a skateboard.
"Fearlessly funny" **** The Scotsman

Holt & Talbot Thurs 27th July - 7.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Holt & Talbot - Can't Stand The Sight Of Each Other
Christian Talbot and Rosie Holt perform stand-up, sketches and music while barely concealing their mutual contempt for each other.
Thrown together through financial necessity and a lack of material, can they stay civil to each other for an hour? Let's find out!

LJ DA FUNK Thurs 27th July - 9.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

LJ DA FUNK - Last Brexit to 'ooklyn
Alabama's most dangerous export tackles the new order of British and world fascism with his raucous wit and bombast. Imagine Ian Hislop on crack.
A sensation at last year's Bath Comedy Festival opening night and winner of Leicester Square theatre New Comedian of the Year.

Bath Comedy July Specials

We've got a packed month of great comedy shows this July!

July Specials:

Fred MacAulay Tues 4th July - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Fred MacAulay Live 2017
Fred's brand of humour mixes cheek, sarcasm and satire and has entertained people for three decades. If you've seen him before, you know it's good comedy. And for new fans, come and see the man once described as "Scotland's rising star of comedy" and now "Legend".
"One of the best stand-up comedians Britain has ever produced" - Richard Osman, Pointless

The Big Bath Cheese Trail Alkmaar Week: Mon 10th - Sun 16th July
All over Bath

The Big Bath Cheese Trail
As part of the 70th anniversry celebrations of Bath & Alkmaar Twinning, 75 cheeses will be placed in the windows of independent Bath shops and other prominent places. Each cheese will have a fascinating fact about the history of the twinning attached, linked to a numbered quiz question on the accompanying entry form. Answer as many questions as you can for a chance to win a fabulous prize: a giant cheese!
For more info download the details here (pdf)

DOWNLOAD YOUR BIG BATH CHEESE TRAIL PDF ENTRY FORM HERE
NB: make sure you download the form to your computer before you fill it in - don't just open in a browser as your answers won't be saved!

Comedytrain On Tour Tues 11th July - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Dutch Comedy Night - Comedytrain On Tour
A selection of the best new generation Dutch comedians from the Comedytrain Collective, based at the Toomler Club in Amsterdam, performing in English as part of the Alkmaar week celebrations.

Dr Phil Hammond Thurs 13th July - 8.00pm
St Margaret's Hall, Bradford on Avon

Dr Phil Hammond - Dr Phil's Health Revolution
The famous NHS Doctor, BBC broadcaster, Private Eye journalist and whistle-blowing comic combines both of his 2016 sell-out 4* Edinburgh Fringe shows in one unforgettable evening.
"One of the most entertainingly subversive people on the planet" - The Guardian

Bath Comedy shows at Bath Fringe Festival

Not content with the Festival itself, we programme and produce many events year-round. Here's what's coming up from us and our friends during Bath Fringe Festival:

Mishka Shubaly Sun 28th May - 8.00pm
The Bell Inn, Bath

Mishka Shubaly
Now a cult favourite, the gruff and rough-voiced songwriter admired by Doug Stanhope & Johnny Depp finishes his latest UK tour here in Bath. SOLD OUT

Martin Taylor and Alison Burns Thurs 1st June - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Martin Taylor and Alison Burns - Ella Fitzgerald at 100
Not comedy, we know, but our friends at 'All Of The Above' are bringing some top notch jazz to our favourite venue - don't miss this great musical interlude amongst the comedy shows.

Amuse Bouche Sat 3rd June - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Amuse Bouche - Valerie's Birthday Party
More friends of Bath Comedy, Amuse Bouche are a comedy troupe who've teamed up with a local blues band to bring an evening of immersive theatre over dinner... SOLD OUT

Bill Smarme Wed 7th June - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Bill Smarme & The Bizness with Dave Lemkin - The Village Hall
Local legend and "International entertainer, ladies' man, household maintenance contractor" Bill and his band team up with the Vicar of Lower Swell for a cabaret evening you won't have seen before! SOLD OUT

Scott Capurro Thurs 8th June - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Scott Capurro's Gay Turnaround
We've been waiting years to bring this award winning US comedian, actor and writer to Bath...you'll have seen him on TV shows, but get ready for a full-on live experience. Strap yourselves in, Bath iconoclasts!

Headline acts at Widcombe Social Club

The Festival welcomes a host of star acts to the Social Club over the closing weekend:

Good Friday 14th April 8pm - Friday Night Live with Bob Mills, Mark Maier, Yuriko Kotani, Neil McFarlane & George Rigden (MC) - a top showcase of hand-picked comedians. Read more

On Saturday 15th 6pm, Viv Groskop returns with a new work-in-progress show "Anchorwoman", followed at 8pm by Arthur Smith & The Smithereens' popular Leonard Cohen show.

Sunday 17th 12.30pm - The Wedding Reception brings more fantastic immersive theatre from the makers of Faulty Towers: A Dining Experience. Unmissable! More...

At 6pm, Laurence Owen performs his delightful one-man American High School movie "Cinemusical High", then the fantastic Jess Robinson headlines the evening with her latest 5 star show "Impressive". More...

Watch Jess' fabulous audition on Britain's Got Talent:



Finally on Easter Monday 17th, the New Act Competition comes to it's Grand Finale starting at 7.30pm. More...

Around town:

Top of the bill at Komedia's "Krater" night on Saturday is Charlie Baker, while at Bath Brew House, the Saturday line-up is headlined by Andew Maxwell.

The Rondo Theatre hosts Marcel Lucont and Mitch Benn while the Festival's third "Live and Late" show on Sunday stars Janey Godley. The Bath Brew House is also home to more free entry shows over the weekend from the likes of Ed Night, Sally Anne Hayward and John Hastings.


Tickets left for top notch Immersive Theatre show

Tickets are still available for The Wedding Reception on Easter Sunday 16th April! Why cook at home when you can come to the wedding of the year and enjoy a three course meal into the bargain? Don't miss out, book now!

Polite Box materialises

Much to the surprise of residents and visitors alike, an alien craft has landed on Brunel Square outside Bath Spa Railway station.

Bearing a strong resemblance to a certain famous time machine, the iconic blue 'Polite Box', as well as providing a focus for countless selfies for crowds of tourists enjoying our heritage city, is a prelude of the seventeen days of comic mayhem to come.

It's another place where you can pick up a Bath Comedy Festival programme, whether the box is being "manned" or not, and keep an eye on it for who knows what else might happen here...

Festival programme complete

Bath Comedy Festival printed programme All Festival events are now online and on sale, and the printed brochure is hitting the streets from Friday 3rd March. Look out for it in venues, pubs, cafés, library and the Visit Bath Information Centre.

There's a PDF copy for you to read online too. Some of the highlights are outlined in the Festival overview.

To book tickets, head to the what's on pages to browse the shows and find online and telephone bookoing information.

Press Coverage

Press coverage coming soon. In the meantime - Read VisitBath's blogs looking forward to this year's Festival:
Mar 2017 - Comedy Festival Fever comes to our beautiful city!
Feb 2017 - A Funny Thing is on its way to the Forum!
Jan 2017 - Big Names, New Faces, Family Fun & Comedy Gold

Lovehoney partners with Bath Comedy Festival and Visit Bath

We are delighted to announce that highly successful Bath-based firm Lovehoney have partnered with Bath Comedy Festival and Visit Bath.
Lovehoney have themselves have won many accolades for spreading their own special brand of happiness. Patron Ralph Oswick commented: "It's the perfect partnership: outgoing, adventurous, original and definitely naughty but nice!"
Lovehoney has lots of rib-tickling surprises for festival goers, including a 'Butt of All Jokes' Twitter competition that offers some unusual prizes!


Photo: John Scott

L-R Nick Steel, (Director, Bath Comedy Festival), Neal Slateford, (Co-Founder Lovehoney), Richard Longhurst, (Co-Founder Lovehoney), Leslie Redwood, (Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Visit Bath), David James, (CEO, Visit Bath)

Read the full press release and quotes here

Arts Council Grant to put Bath Comedy Festival on the map

A partnership formed by Bath Comedy Festival and VisitBath has been given £15,000 by the Arts Council England Grants for the Arts scheme to help create a sustainable marketing strategy that will enable the Comedy Festival to considerably increase its profile, reach much wider audiences and thus become a major annual fixture on the city's cultural calendar.

VisitBath is the official tourism body in the city of Bath and the surrounding areas. Bath Comedy Festival will be working alongside VisitBath to promote the festival both locally and nationally across all channels.

Banners and street decorations will create a festival atmosphere, further enhanced by an on-street ticket booth in a key location. The grant will also secure the future of the Kids' Comedy Festival, an ever-growing part of the programme which has hitherto been run on an ad hoc volunteer basis.


Photo: Philip Field

L-R Ginny Adams (Rare Species), Nick Steel (Director, BCF), Leslie Redwood (VisitBath), Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE (BCF Patron), Ralph Oswick (BCF Assoc Director & Patron)

Read the full press release and quotes here

First shows of Bath Comedy Festival 2017 announced

Look forward to Big Names, New Faces, Family Fun and Comedy Gold this year!

Paul MertonBath Comedy Festival gets bigger and better every year and comics don't get bigger than stage, television and radio star Paul Merton, who is booked to open the Festival with his Comedy Impro Chums on Saturday 1st April in the glorious, 1930s surrounds of the beautiful art-deco Bath Forum. more...

Look out Bradford on Avon!

Barry Cryer & Ronnie GoldenThe Festival is reaching out to our friends in Bradford on Avon, and we're delighted to announce that one of the true elder statesmen of British Comedy and esteemed Patron of our Festival, the wonderful Barry Cryer will be performing with his "old's cool" musical comedy partner and virtuoso Ronnie Golden at Wiltshire Music Centre on Wednesday 5th April. more...

See the what's on pages for booking details, and watch out for lots more shows coming online very soon!

Bath Comedy Pre-Festival Shows 2017

Can't wait for the Festival to start? We've got three special shows coming up for you!

Bec Hill & Sarah Bennetto Tues 31st Jan - 8.00pm
Ring O Bells, Bath

Bec Hill & Sarah Bennetto
Double bill of work-in-progress shows from two most popular, prolific and exciting Australian comedians.

Bonbon Cabaret - Bonbon's Love-In Thurs 16th Feb - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Bonbon Cabaret - Bonbon's Love-In
The legendary Bonbon Cabaret returns again with music and comedy cabaret mayhem, at home in Widcombe at Bath's newest cool venue.

Stuart Goldsmith Thurs 2nd Mar - 8.00pm
Widcombe Social Club, Bath

Stuart Goldsmith - Compared To What
The host of the "Comedian's Comedian Podcast" finally shakes off an invigoratingly misspent youth...

See details of all three pre-festival shows here.

Check the what's on diary for event details and online booking links.

Sign up to the e-mailing list to be among the first to know what's happening. There is an archive of the 2016 festival and year of shows here.

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The 2016 web site including programme, news items and photos has been archived, but is still available to view here.

 

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