Lovies, laughter-louts and lounge lizards can all find something to scratch their cultural itch in Bath.
Touring plays featuring famous thespians, up and coming stand-up comics and alternative films all make an appearance in Bath’s cultural scene.
Theatre-lovers will be in their element as the city has five theatres, including the beautiful Theatre Royal, which is one of the oldest in the country. The Main House showcases touring plays with well-established actors. Last-minute reduced price seats can be purchased 30 minutes before curtains-up and standing tickets can be purchased for £4 from 6pm (noon for matinees) on days when all the seats are sold. (Sawclose; +44 (0)1225 448844; www.theatreroyal.org.uk).
Around the back of the Theatre Royal is the more avant-garde Ustinov studio where plays-in-progress, innovative comedy and inventive drama are shown in a more intimate theatre (back of Theatre Royal; +44 (0)1225 448844; www.theatreroyal.org.uk). In the Theatre Royal’s side entrance you’ll find the colourful space of the egg – a brilliant children’s theatre that shows plays designed for little theatre-goers (+44 (0)1225 823409; www.theatreroyal.org.uk).
At the Mission Theatre on Corn Street (+44 (0) 1225 428600; www.missiontheatre.co.uk) the Next Stage Theatre Company puts on plays and the space is used as an arts centre for the local community.
Just outside the city centre is the small Rondo Theatre in Larkhall (get the number 7 or 709 bus or park in the Somerfield car park), which hosts music, comedy and dramatic events (St Saviours Road; +44 (0)1225 463362; www.rondotheatre.co.uk).
The Odeon multi-screen Kingsmead Complex shows big Hollywood films (James St West; +44 (0)871 22 44 007; www.odeon.co.uk), but head to the Little Theatre tucked away on St Michaels Place to see alternative and foreign films in squashy seats with a glass of wine in hand (St Michaels Place; +44 (0)871 704 2068; www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/The_Little/ ).
Housed in a beautiful old Art Deco style cinema, Komedia (sister space to Brighton’s famous cabaret venue) hosts comedy, music and sing-along film events. They really cater for hen parties and big groups, although they have some interesting rockabilly/Motown club nights, so the weekend comedy nights are expensive and can be hit and miss (Westgate Street; +44 (0)845 293 8480; www.komedia.co.uk/bath/). A better, and cheaper, option is to visit the Comedy Cavern in the Porter Cellar Bar on Sunday nights to see up and coming comics (George Street; +44 (0)1225 4024104; www.comedycavern.co.uk). Also worth a visit to see comedy, music and burlesque is the oak-floored Chapel Arts Centre (Lower Borough Walls; +44 (0)1225 461700; www.chapelarts.org).
You can also find advice on Bath nightlife here: Nightlife in Bath: Bath in the Dark.
Where to stay
You can see my full list of recommendations here – Bath Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in Bath.