Bath Comedy Festival opens with a bang on April 1st with mega-star Paul Merton at Bath’s fabulous Forum, the town centre art deco masterpiece. But the giggles are going citywide this year. All will be revealed soon when perennial festival favourite and grumpy old man Arthur Smith presides over the official programme launch.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Lurking in the very shadow of the towering Forum, the modest façade of the Mission Theatre hides a delightful venue plus a super vegetarian café bursting at the seams with an impressive lineup of comic theatre and stand-up.
Pay What you Feel
Adjoining the Odeon complex is the buzzing Bath Brewhouse where you can catch multiple solo shows on a pay-what-you-feel basis (zilch if you hate it!) or experience the edge of the seat excitement of the New Act Competition heats.
When the Shopping Has to Stop
Take a breather! Hop on the new Theatrebath Bus parked in SouthGate for free preview show snippets.
Turn on the Heats
More New Acts will be warming up Bath’s very own (simulated) ice bar Igloo whilst the Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience will be taking over the illustrious Allium Restaurant at the Abbey Hotel for one night only.
Top O' the Town
Just yards beyond the show-stopping splendour of the Royal Crescent is a handsome Georgian garden square garlanded with independent shops and the super-friendly St James’ Wine Vaults. Downstairs, a cellar full of comedy acts!
Venture into Bath’s Artisan Quarter with its incomparable array of quirky shops where the famous Bell Inn will be turning its celebrated open mic nights over to comedy.
A mile beyond The Bell is Larkhall with its village square, a proper hardware store and the much loved Rondo Theatre. John Otway and The Now Show’s Mitch Benn are on the programme.
Behind the station and over Ha’penny Bridge lies Bath’s trendiest neighbourhood, Widcombe, pulsating heart of the festival. Regeneration means pavement cafes, vibrant pubs and specialist shops galore. Plus two fabulous comedy venues, fully curated by the Comedy Festival supremos.
Upstairs at the Ring O Bells features intimate Edinburgh-style hour shows with the cream of the comedy circuit.
The stunning new Widcombe Social Club is home to special Friday night star line-ups, smash-hit immersive theatre experience 'The Wedding Reception', Arthur Smith and the Smithereens and the incredibly talented Jess Robinson to name but a few.
Plus the unique buggy-friendly Kid's Comedy Festival to be opened by I’m A Celebrity star Martin Roberts.
Off Its Trolley
And for a totally non-tourist view of Bath, dare to grab a seat on the bonkers boozy bus that is The Wine Arts Trail, the UK’s wackiest wine tasting tour.
Guest Post by Nick Steele from the Bath Comedy Festival