There’s no need to travel north of the border for a laugh as comedians test out their fringe shows in the south west

Brexit, parenting, loneliness, the role of the modern man and the British class system are all topics to be tackled by a summer programme of comedy as stand-ups bring their acts to test out on Bath audiences ahead of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Bath Comedy has lined up a dozen Edinburgh previews for July, ranging from well-known acts such as Scottish comedian Fred MacAulay (at Widcombe Social Club on Tuesday 4 July) to the emerging and award-winning talent of Welshman Phil Cooper and the Tom and Jerry of the comedy circuit, Christian Talbot and Rosie Holt, whose act is called Can’t Stand the Sight of Each Other. All of these visitors to Bath will be gauging the local audience reaction and honing their routines before heading up to Edinburgh, where the Fringe opens on 4 August.

On Monday 24 July at the Ring o Bells in Widcombe the audience is invited to pay what they feel the show is worth, with a triple bill of comedy featuring Phil Cooper, Chris Chopping and George Rigden, who has recently been named as Bristol’s 30th funniest person.

Eddie Izzard – who isn’t coming to Bath – famously tours abroad so he can try his hand at delivering his act in a foreign language. With this in mind Nick Steel, director of Bath Comedy, has invited some young Dutch comedians to the south west as part of the celebrations of Bath’s twinning with the town of Alkmaar. Members of the ComedyTrain collective will be at Widcombe Social Club, performing in English, on Tuesday 11 July.

NHS doctor, journalist and comedian Dr Phil Hammond plans to reprise an already successful routine as he brings his sell-out shows from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe to St Margaret’s Hall in Bradford on Avon on Thursday 13 July.

Also returning to Bath is actress and comedian Anna Morris, who delighted audiences last year with her character Georgina, the archetypal Bridezilla. Her snooty bride planning her perfect day had all sorts of tips for other brides, including ensuring that bridesmaids are all at least two sizes larger than the bride and picking unflattering brown sack-like dresses to prevent them upstaging you. This year Anna is playing four characters who compete for Women of the Year awards. Expect more nuggets of real-life gems in Bitchelors, which is at the Ring o Bells on Tuesday 25 July.

For details of all the Bath Comedy Edinburgh programme and where to buy tickets visit: bathcomedy.com.

Entertainment venue and home to the weekly Krater Comedy Club, Komedia in Westgate Street, Bath is also holding Edinburgh previews. The comedians will be eyeball to eyeball with their audiences in the intimate setting of Komedia’s cafe and bar, with its tiny stage. If you like your comedy slightly dangerous and with an air of anything-can-happen, check out some of these acts. As with the Bath Comedy programme the line-up includes some familiar faces from television, including Tiff Stevenson and Simon Evans, alongside some less well known comedians.

As comedians such as Sarah Millican, Russell Howard and Mickey Flanagan cut their comedy teeth playing Komedia in Brighton and Bath, this is an exciting opportunity to catch a new act and tell your friends afterwards that you saw them before they were famous.

All those appearing have won rave reviews. Ivo Graham, for instance, has been hailed as being like Hugh Grant’s younger brother while Marlon Davis has been on tour as a support act for Kevin Bridges, Alan Carr and Michael McIntyre. Tackling one of the big issues of her Generation Y is Sarah Keyworth, who recognises that she belongs to the millennial generation whose parents brought her up to believe she could achieve anything she set her heart on. The reality of life, that dawning understanding that you’re no more special than anyone else, forms the basis of her show.

Tickets for the shows at Komedia throughout July, are £8 from: komedia.co.uk.

Main image: coming to Bath are Simon Evans, Anna Morris with her character based show, and Sarah Keyworth