Bedlam Fair 2016 - Sat 4th and Sun 5th June Get the dates in your diary!!

Our street arts weekend bedlam fair, the middle weekend of the festival, has always been one of the signature features of the Fringe, going back to the street performers who pitched in to help back when we were starting in the early ‘90s, and even to the inspirational Walcot Festivals of the turn of the ‘80s. As we’ve developed, we’ve tried to make it something that’s fun and useful for the performers as well as the audience, somewhere they like the idea of coming back to, a weekend they’ll remember too. This in turn has made us one of the most important events in those artforms in the SouthWest, despite our small scale.

We love new shows from our favourite performers and we’re keen on keeping up with artists who have a long association with Bath, and we also do all we can to support new acts, new artists, new ideas, from the city and all round the SouthWest (and sometimes a little further). Arts Council support is helping us in turn to support these artists by giving them feedback and practical help with this year’s new shows from experienced and imaginative street artists. It’s also a chance for the specialist students, from Bath College, BathSpa Uni, Circomedia in Bristol, and (again) further away, to try out what they’ve been learning. And all of this is possible because in Bath we have a supportive and imaginative audience too (that’s you!). You can see the pick of this year’s new crop at bedlam on both the Friday and Saturday. NB parts of SawClose & Kingsmead Square will have the builders in this year, but we’re certainly still basing ourselves there, tho’ we may wander further into the centre too.

For the last few years one of our key projects has been a large-scale large-cast site-specific & interventive event which gives professional performers, local young people, specialist students, and Bath people with an interest in performing, a rare opportunity to do something bigger than most groups can manage (especially on our small budgets!). This project - under the umbrella title ofOutside! Now!! - is overseen by Mark Bishop of Natural Theatre, and each year comes with its own visiting Director, this year Paschale Straiton & Ivan Fabrega (Red Herring Productions), whose work has been seen in Bath Fringe for, oh, let’s just say “over a decade” and spare the blushes. Each year’s director brings a new style (and something new for us to learn about), and this year is certainly going to be different: a celebration of eccentricity, a performance using its own soundtrack in headphones. We’ll be making sure there will still be plenty to appreciate if you’re not wired in, but this is one it will be well worth getting a ticket for (May 29 & 30). 

Before your patience with reading this runs out entirely (yes, yes, get out and see some art) let us just remind you that the weekend starts with a Bedlam Launch Party in Green Park Station early Friday evening (loads of acts, loads of fun) and a Bedlam Night Outwith the legendary Baghdaddies later that evening at The Nest.