Bath Comedy Festival 2016

Just a reminder, now you have recovered from the recent surfeit of chocolate and bunnies, the Bath Comedy Festival 2016 kicks off tomorrow, Friday April 1st. The flags are going up in Widcombe as we welcome back the intimate upstairs venue at the Ring O Bells and  even more exciting, the brand new Widcombe Social Club, where the opening April Fools Showcase is taking place tomorrow 7.30 doors open, show at 8pm.

Those of us lucky to have been at the Social Club members’ preview or this week’s public Open Day were highly impressed by the modern, spacious and welcoming atmosphere at the club. Big queues formed as existing members renewed their subscriptions, whilst at the Open Day over 120 new members signed up.

You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the facilities as the premises operates on a pub licence, but members can use their swipe card to get discounts at the bar, on room hire and occasional ticketed events. Plus, unlike the old days when members and visitors were banished to the basement when events were taking place, there are now two super spaces, so there will always be a comfy public bar to retire to during opening hours. So, remember, the club is only a ‘club’ in name, it’s free entry to all, and a rather fabulous addition to the Widcombe village ‘scene’. Indeed, Mick , the landlord of The Ram reported that on Open Day practically everyone going to the club popped in for a pint, and practically everyone coming back from the club popped in for another!

The Comedy Festival takes place all over town, not just in Widcombe. There are free/pay what you like events at The Bath Brew House and additional comedy to suit all tastes at The Rondo, The Mission Theatre, St James Wine Vaults, Sleight Bar, Hall & Woodhouse, The Bell, Komedia, and even on the streets. Most events have walk-up tickets still available, but it is advisable to book in advance just to be sure – see

By the way, The Wine Arts Trail on the big red bus is completely sold out, as usual. Book now for next year’s tour!

And my pick of the week? The Character and Sketch Comedy Showcase 6pm for 6.30pm Sat 2nd April at Widcombe Social Club. Real scripts, real acting, real punchlines…possibly even a bit of scenery… proving the festival is not just a showcase for top-notch stand-up. Hancock lives! “This is everything sketch comedy shows should be” The Mirror

And if that wasn’t enough brilliant comedy, stay on in the club, have a swift gin and tonic and then see Steve Frost’s Improv Allstars at 8.30pm for 9pm starring regulars from the original British version of ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ …possibly the most successful comedy series ever.

For once I’m pretty certain I haven’t made any mistakes in this update, so see you there everyone. And I mean…EVERYONE!

Best wishes

Ralph Oswick
Patron, Bath Comedy Festival 2016

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