For three days this July, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will come to London, as over 200 performers in more than 70 shows descend on The Bedford in Balham.
From 27-29 July, the Balham Fringe will see stand-up, sketch, music and theatre acts previewing the shows they’re taking to the Fringe in August. And it’s all happening across four stages at The Bedford – Balham’s legendary live music and comedy venue.
We decided to host the event in Balham partly because it’s a very easy place for people to get to from all over London. Often, North & Central London get all the fun when it comes to comedy and sketch events, so we thought we’d spread some more of it in the South.
But the main draw of Balham was being able to use the rooms in the Bedford. The Bedford is renowned as one of the best live music and comedy venues in London, and the weekly Banana Cabaret regularly attracts the very best stand-up acts on the comedy club circuit.
Last year’s Balham Fringe saw over 1,000 people enjoy previews from the Free Fringe, and this year looks set to be the most popular yet! The atmosphere last year was fantastic, with more than 1,000 people attending over the course of the weekend. We’re preparing even bigger numbers this year, and would encourage anyone who wants to see a specific show to get there early to ensure they have a seat – all shows are free to get in, but we can only fit in so many people.
The event is being organised by the Free Fringe, which this year will curate over 5,000 free performances in Edinburgh. The Free Fringe was founded by Peter Buckley-Hill, and he sees the Balham Fringe as an exciting opportunity for the people of Balham to see the shows that will be entertaining Edinburgh first, and for free.
Speaking as the Balham Fringe launched it’s 2012 programmes, Peter said, “Year on year, the Free Fringe takes more and more quality shows to Edinburgh, and we’re looking forward to giving Londoners an opportunity to sample the Edinburgh Fringe for free in their own back yard.”
Among the performers at this year’s Balham Fringe are Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer Josie Long, Radio 4’s Helen Arney, and Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Wil Hodgson, along with many more award-winning acts and some of the fastest-rising stars in comedy.
Full details of the Balham Fringe programme are available on the PBH website, here www.freefringe.org.uk/balham. And keep up with the latest news on the Balham Fringe you can follow us on Twitter: @BalhamFringe.
Come on down to the Bedford on 27-29 July for some free comedy, theatre, music, sketch and cabaret.