Bath Fringe Festival started in 1981 as an alternative fringe event to the more formal Music Festival. It has evolved over the years into a 17-day affair that virtually takes over the City of Bath in early June.
The Old Theatre Royal became a venue for the Bath Fringe Festival in 2013. Following its’ initial success, a full programme has been staged again each year. The Masonic temple is usually home to music gigs and theatrical productions, this is because of it’s fabulous acoustics. While the Garret Library generally stages smaller one-man shows and stand-up comedy.
An event called 20:20 Vision was certainly one of the successes in 2014. It took over the entire building for two days staging 13 short playlets in different rooms. From outside in the street to the Masonic Temple; they even staged another one in the gents’ loo! The audience was escorted around in groups to witness each performance in sequence.
The most popular musical performance of 2014 was the Hot Potato Syncopators who staged a Ukelele Ding-Dong. They invited their audience to bring their own ‘ukes’ along. As a result, they proceeded to hold a jam session in the bar after the main event.
We often have shows written and produced purely for performance at the Old Theatre Royal. As happened in 2015 when local singer-songwriter Sam Eason wrote eight songs for a special album entitled Bath Songs. The reason being that they were all about historical events in the City over the previous 300 years. In 2016, the well-known Beatles tribute band, Sgt Pepper’s Only Dart Board Band, morphed into The Unravelling Wilburys, and held their world-premier here in front of a sell-out audience.