If the train fare to Edinburgh, plus accommodation once you get there is too steep (and it is), despair ye not. Instead, get your summer comedy fix at The Balham Free Fringe Festival, which returns to The Bedford pub next weekend, and as the name would suggest, won't cost you a penny.
The overwhelming freeness of this joke-a-motion of a festival — happening from 24-26 July — is made all the more impressive considering the line-up. Three rooms will host such comic pedigree as seasoned Metro ranter Richard Herring, 'recovering snob' Nick Purves, the 'wrong sort of feminist' Kate Smurthwaite, Caroline Mabey (chaos is a personal friend of hers, apparently) and Chris Coltrane, who'll be cranking up his Left-Wing Propaganda Machine. A bit like this:
So if the festival's free, what's in it for the comedians? Essentially, you'll be their guinea pigs; these nearly-but-not-quite-ready shows are what they'll be taking up to the Edinburgh Fringe (aka Destroyer Of Dreams) next month. So expect the odd misfire, mind blank and mid-show rewrite.
Although there's no need to buy tickets, or to book ahead, do bear in mind this is a fundraiser for producer PBH’s Free Fringe in Edinburgh. So chuck something in the bucket at the end if you can. And if there's someone you really want to see, make sure you turn up early.
The Balham Free Fringe Festival takes places at The Bedford, Balham from 24-26 July. See the full line-up on the website.