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Have a Laugh in Bath as Bath Comedy Festival returns!

1st – 21st April 2024

With over 250 comedians performing over 100 shows at 15 venues across our city, Bath Comedy Festival will see Bath roaring with laughter over three weeks this April.

As the clocks change over the Easter holiday, the sun rises higher in the sky and smiles return to faces, Bath will be treated to performances from some of the biggest and hottest names from the world of comedy, including Rhys James, Henning Wehn, Chris McCausland, Ed Gamble, Dominic Frisby, Mitch Benn, Rosie Holt, Helen Lederer, Emmanuel Sonubi, Simon Munnery, Mike Gunn, Marcel Lucont, Diana Vickers, Robin Ince and Arthur Smith alongside circuit stalwarts and the best of the up-and-coming generation of comedians. The festival will have audiences laughing their socks off in some of Bath's most iconic locations both big and small. Venues span the length and breadth of the historic city, including Bath Forum, Upstairs @ Bath Pizza Co, The Ring O Bells, Nowhere, Komedia, Rondo Theatre and more.

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Highlights include:

  • 5th April – April Fools' Gala at Bath Forum starring Rhys James, Terry Alderton, Charlie Partridge, Antje Pode and Matt Price (MC).

  • 7th April – Top immersive experience The Wine Arts Trail (T.W.A.T.), accompanied by celebrity clippie and musical maestro Matt Baker – a veritable bus load of bibulous bonhomie and always a sell-out!

  • The Ring O Bells, Bath Comedy's favourite intimate venue is back - hosting no less than 15 shows from the likes of Andrew White, LJ DA FUNK, Kev Mud, Christian Schulte-Loh, Joz Norris and Louise Atkinson, with many "pay what you feel" events featuring works in progress from established performers as well as first solo outings from up-and-coming stars.

  • The launch of a wonderful new venue Upstairs @ Bath Pizza Co above Green Park Brasserie, with shows from stars such as Rosie Holt, Henning Wehn, Mitch Benn and Robin Ince, Masai Graham and Patrick Monahan.

  • Workshops from Natural Theatre Company and Stephanie Hill, and a two day comedy course for beginners from long term respected circuit star Mike Gunn

  • 13th April – An afternoon of stand-up and book signing with Festival patron Helen Lederer, in conversation with actor Pavel Douglas about her frank, moving, and characteristically hilarious memoir!

  • Junior Jokers: A new creative kids' programme: A character comedy workshop with the famous Natural Theatre Company, a cartoon competition, comedy mask making with amazing Brtisol-based artist Rose Popay, and some brilliant, affordable, family-friendly comedy shows for all ages from toddlers to teens to enjoy, including Marcel Lucont’s ‘game show for awful children’!

  • The Rondo Theatre boasts its biggest Comedy Festival line-up yet         .                                           

  • Aftermirth – adult comedy in the daytime for parents with children under one year old.

  • Bath Comedy Club venue Nowhere hosts all 12 heats of the phenomenally successful New Act Competition, discovering the comedic stars of the future.

  • 21st AprilThe Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition Final will take place at the magnificent Old Theatre Royal hosted by Festival patron and famously ‘grumpy old man’ Arthur Smith.

  • Also at The Old Theatre Royal there are matinée and evening performances of a new play ‘Slapstick’, about the world’s first clown Grimaldi, played by the award-winning star of stage and screen Jon Monie.

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King Henry VIII (detail) by Hans Holbein the Younger (c.1497–1543) Victoria Art Gallery, Bath & North East Somerset Council

Festival Director Nick Steel says: "It's been a tough time since the pandemic, but I'm immensely proud of the Festival’s resilience – we managed to present 65 shows in 2020 when most other events were unable to run, produced a two week ‘Permission To Laugh’ festival in 2021 and two full springtime festivals in 2022 and ’23, as well as continuing our year-round programme of Bath Comedy Club and other shows, Edinburgh previews, creating new venues and supporting new talent. 

This year the challenges continue, but we’re busy creating new partnerships and devising more ways to bring laughter to Bath. The Festival line-up is diverse, and includes more shows for families and younger audiences through our ‘Junior Jokers’ programme, more daytime events and workshops, as well as our esteemed New Act Competition. We’ve got exciting new venues including Upstairs @ Bath Pizza Co and Nowhere, alongside regular favourites the Ring O Bells and of course Bath’s most prestigious auditorium at Bath Forum. 

I'm particularly looking forward to this year’s April Fools' Gala – a right royal variety show starring brilliant stand-up comedians Rhys James, Terry Alderton and Matt Price plus absurdist comedy from Charlie Partridge and the amazing circus skills of international star Antje Pode!

As always there are affordable 'pay what you feel' events, and there’s every genre of comedy on offer, even a late night ‘Drunk & Heckle’ show!

We're extremely grateful to our supporters, venues and partners, and we’ve got many plans forming for the future with some great opportunities for new Sponsors and Business Partners – why not get in touch and see how being aligned with the Festival can help you, your company and your employees?

Bath Comedy Festival is now widely recognised as a destination for comedy and a key date on the annual cultural calendar. We can't do it without you, so join us as we welcome both Bath residents and visitors for another year of laughter.”

 

For more information please see: www.bathcomedy.com or check out the What's on pages, which are correct at time of going to press. 

Win

two tickets to see the New Act Competition Grand Final on 21st April at the Old Theatre Royal

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