Komedia Bath on its opening night
|Purpose||Arts and entertainment|
Komedia is an arts and entertainment company which operates venues in the United Kingdom at Brighton and Bath, and a management and production company Komedia Entertainment. Beyond hosting live comedy, the venues also host music, cabaret, theatre and shows for children, featuring local, national and international performers. The Brighton and Bath venues operate cinemas within their buildings in partnership with Picturehouse. Komedia also creates broadcast comedy and has most notably co-produced and hosted the live recordings of seven series of the Sony Award Winning Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! for BBC Radio 4 and is a co-producer on BBC2's sitcom Count Arthur Strong.
As well as its resident shows, the Krater Comedy Club, Ministry of Burlesque and Bent Double, Komedia has a local, national and international programme, spanning a range of entertainment including theatre, music, cabaret, comedy and live literature.
Komedia is owned by Colin Granger, Marina Kobler and Richard Daws. It was formed in 1994 by Colin Granger, Marina Kobler and David Lavender, beginning as a theatre and cabaret bar in a converted Grade II-listed former billiard hall in Brighton's Kemptown area. Richard Daws became involved in 2001 when he partnered with the venue to form Komedia Entertainment, a management and production company set up after the sale of his production company Victoria Real to Endemol UK. The Komedia logo was designed by Nick Williams of the Matt Black design partnership.
In the early days, Komedia promoted many young performers including Graham Norton, Mel & Sue, Johnny Vegas, Jack Dee, Al Murray, Jenny Eclair, Tim Vine, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ricky Tomlinson, Rhona Cameron and The League of Gentlemen. In 1998 the company moved into a former Tesco supermarket on Gardner Street in the North Laine area of Brighton.
On its relocation in 2000, the Brighton Komedia grew to include three spaces: Komedia Upstairs, Komedia Downstairs and the Studio Bar, as well as a street-front café and box office on Gardner Street.
In June 2008 Komedia was awarded the lease of the Beau Nash Picture House in Bath, a Grade II-listed art deco cinema previously operated by Odeon and known as the Beau Nash Picture House. Following extensive refurbishment, the cinema was transformed into an auditorium and live arts venue designed by architects Stubbs Rich, who have since been awarded The National Constructing Excellence Award for the Heritage Project of the Year for the scheme. The development project won The Building Excellence Award for The Best Renovation of a Listed Building in the UK. The venue opened to the public on 13 November.
Komedia Bath has become an important element of the arts quarter in Bath and presents a programme focused on comedy, music, film, cabaret, spoken word and kids events. The programme includes the Krater Comedy Club, Ministry of Burlesque’s High Tease, and cinema screenings in partnership with The Little Cinema Theatre and Picturehouse.
The venue has a 615 standing capacity and a 456 cabaret seated capacity which includes a balcony seating 168 people.
Komedia Bath also operates a daytime arts café, which includes a studio venue, displays local artists' work and is host to Affordable Arts Fairs.
Komedia has on occasion operated up to three distinct venues (simultaneously) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; loosely split into a comedy venue, a drama venue, and one for theatre companies from around the world that Komedia had helped come to the festival.
Komedia has roots in physical theatre, and was a co-founder of the Aurora Nova programme at St Stephens, which runs during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Komedia operates a management and production arm which represents emerging and established talent. Reflecting Komedia’s core values and areas of expertise, the company has worked with leading character, physical and musical sketch comedy acts. Komedia Entertainment has produced award winning live shows, radio series and TV projects. These included Japanese Comedy duo Gamarjobat’s sell out Edinburgh shows and their first run on Broadway, New York; the Fringe First winning Meeting Joe Strummer and the Sony Award winning Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!, which has completed seven series for BBC Radio 4. Together with national and international tours, the company also produces comedy and music CD & DVD releases and other broadcast projects for the BBC including BBC2's comedy Count Arthur Strong, co-produced with Retort TV and Delightful Industries.
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