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Bath Comedy Festival - overview

The 8th Bath Comedy Festival runs from 1st- 10th April 2016 with over 100 events including everything from avant garde stand-up to family friendly comedy shows, the now famous New Act Competition, the outrageous Wine Arts Trail, international comedians, comedy music and sketch shows.

Bath Comedy Festival Director Nick Steel said "With its amazing mixture of famous names and exciting newcomers, Bath Comedy Festival 2016 will undoubtedly be the best ever!"'

Once more the Festival is utilising new and unusual stages, whether it be the back room of a pub, the brand new Widcombe Social Club or the city streets, as well as Bath's more established and historic venues.

Headline acts include Dead Ringers and Impressions Show star Jess Robinson with Kirsty Newton, Radio 4 favourites Hardeep Singh Kohli and Arthur Smith, Steve Frost's Improv All Stars and the ever popular Patrick Monahan.

One of the most exciting events will be Peter Richardson showing his new Comic Strip Presents film Redtop at the Little Theatre Cinema, Festival Patron Arthur Smith is bringing his Mindlessness course for beginners as well as curating a Museum of Socks, and of course The Wine Arts Trail is back, bigger boozier and more bonkers than ever!

Established touring shows and Edinburgh previews at the intimate Ring O Bells venue include Stuart Goldsmith, Tom Neenan, Diane Spencer, Matt Green, Lewis Schaffer, Tamar Broadbent, Seymour Mace, Spencer Jones and The Travelling Sisters. The wonderfully inventive Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre returns by popular demand as the only act to have played Bath Comedy Festival every year since it started in 2009, and a truly international element this year brings Norwegian (yes, Norwegian!) comedian Dag Sørås to Bath fresh from supporting Doug Stanhope on tour, as well as the truly global, multilingual German Paco Erhard.

There is also a burgeoning pay-what-you-feel 'Free' Festival running alongside the ticketed events at The Bath Brew House featuring Joz Norris, Neil McFarlane, Sam Carrington, Zahra Barri, Nick Doody and James Dowdeswell.

Two Saturday night specials headlined by Sean Hughes and Mark Dolan can also be seen at The Brew House.

Weddings are a perennial source of humour, with two gloriously funny opportunities to join in the nuptial celebrations: the upmarket Wedding Rehearsal featuring Anna Morris as Georgina, the ultimate Made in Chelsea style Bridezilla and the new Immersive theatre show The Wedding Reception, from the creators of The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience, which includes a two course meal and wedding cake!

The Festival is justly proud of its 'F' Rating, with more female performers than ever, including a thought provoking 'In Conversation With' discussion from Sarah Millican's Standard Issue magazine with Lucy Porter heading up a panel tackling women's comedy, feminism and more.

The successful Kids' Comedy Festival is back, every weekday at Widcombe Social Club with visits from fabulous Princesses and a variety of magic, puppetry and more.

There's more magic and illusion with Noel Britten at Sleight, Mark Watson's tour show at Komedia, a week of comedy at The Rondo Theatre including circuit favourite John Robins and the bizarre musical partnership of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett, and The Mission Theatre is also brought to the fore with both its Theatre Upstairs space and main house, which boasts a five day run of "Murder She Didn't Write".

With a plethora of other comedy shows at such places as St James Wine Vaults, The Bell, Assembly Inn, Komedia, the YMCA and even in someone's front room, there really is something for everyone!

Don't miss the Opening Night April Fools Stand-up Showcase at Widcombe Social Club hosted by the eccentric Silky and starring Leicester Square and Hackney Empire New Act winners LJ Da Funk and Bilal Zafar, Bath New Act 2015 winner Bethan Roberts plus popular circuit headliners Nick Page and Dave Williams.

Check out the what's on pages for the full line-up, show details and booking information.