Spring time for laughter!

As welcome as the first snowdrop or blooming daffodil – spring welcomes back Bath’s hilarious Comedy Festival.

Plenty of laughter to come too with hundreds of comedians performing at over a dozen venues across the city.

Julian Clary

Once again as the clocks change, the sun comes out 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 Reginald D Hunter, Julian Clary, Fred MacAulay, Spencer Jones, Elf Lyons, Emmanuel Sonubi, Patrick Monahan and Zoe Lyons, 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, Walcot House, The Ring O Bells, The Hop Pole, Widcombe Social Club, The Bell, Komedia, Rondo Theatre and Bath Cider House. 

Highlights include: 

• 1st April – April Fools’ Gala starring Reginald D Hunter, Ronnie Golden, Rowland Rivron, Helen Lederer, Frank Sanazi, Chris Lynam, Holly Leggett, Chris McGlade and Cerys Nelmes (MC) at Bath Forum. 

• 2nd April – Top immersive experience The Wine Arts Trail (T.W.A.T.), accompanied by mystery celebrity clippie – 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 16 shows from the likes of Chris McGlade, Anuvab Pal, David Eagle, Aideen McQueen, Carl Carzana and Adele Cliff. 

• Walcot House plays host to circuit legends such as Matt Price, Elf Lyons, Spencer Jones, Alan Francis and Patrick Monahan alongside works in progress from some hand-picked stars Bronwyn Sweeney, Spring Day and Kuan-wen Huang. 

• Affordable Festival 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, centred around the Ring O Bells and The Hop Pole. 

• Junior Jokers: A new creative kids’ programme: A devising day with the famous Natural Theatre Company, a cartoon competition and three brilliant, affordable, family-friendly comedy shows for all ages from toddlers to teens to enjoy! 

• The Rondo Theatre joins in the fun with performances from Alex Healy, Emmanuel Sonubi & Garrett Millerick. 

• Beneath, a brand-new venue hidden away under Milsom Street plays host to four “Live & Late” shows. 

• Bath Cider House and The Hop Pole between them hosting no less than 12 heats of the phenomenally successful New Act Competition

• 14th April – For the first time, the magnificent Forum main stage will host the Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition Final. Witness the stars of tomorrow in the making. 

• 15th April – Julian Clary & Ian Shaw headline event at Bath Forum. 

• 16th April – Zoe Lyons plays Komedia to round off the Festival programme. 

Festival Director Nick Steel says: “It’s great to be back, and I’m proud to present some amazing shows from such a wide variety of artists and I think the most diverse line-up ever. I’m particularly looking forward to some big blasts from the past and shows unique to Bath Comedy Festival – you won’t see these anywhere else! Julian Clary & Ian Show resurrect a partnership which goes back several decades, and I’ve persuaded Rowland Rivron out of semi-retirement to join an incredible whos-who April Fools’ Gala bill which would rival the Royal Variety Show!

Couple these with a veritable plethora of up-and-coming talent, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. And everyone’s budget too – our Affordable Festival is back offering dozens of ‘pay what you feel’ events.

We’re also reprising our late show ‘Live & Late’, this year at the cool underground cocktail environment at Beneath, with a wide selection of comedians and a party atmosphere – the place to hang out with performers and organisers alike.

Bath Comedy Festival has grown in scale year on year, and Bath is now widely recognised as a centre for comedy and a key date on the annual comedy calendar. We’re back with a vengeance and can’t wait to welcome Bath’s 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. 

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The home of Bath Comedy Festival and year-round Bath Comedy events including Bath Comedy Club shows, July Edinburgh Preview season and many one-off specials. 

Bath Comedy Festival runs Sunday 26th March – Sunday 16th April 2023 in various venues throughout Bath 

Bath Comedy Festival Patrons: 

Arthur Smith, Barry Cryer OBE, Helen Lederer, Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst MBE, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Ralph Oswick, Robert Brinkworth, Terry Jones