The Comedy Store is the spiritual home of stand-up in the UK. Despite being the best large comedy venue in the country, the Store still succeeds in creating an intimacy between comic and audience. Best of all, its central London location gives it a wonderfully mixed crowd. The country's first full-time comedy club, the venue still claims to hold this title. It can also be credited with discovering a host of alternative comedians throughout the 80s, all of these are now household names. Paul Merton, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmonson, Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith Allen, Clive Anderson and Ben Elton all started out in this small Comedy Store Players take to the stage every Sunday and Wednesday with their one-off displays of improvisation at its best, Tuesdays offer topical comedy from The Cutting Edge crew, while Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays promise The Best in Stand-Up, and by this they mean exactly what they say: a superbly programmed night. You're having a laugh if you don't pop in.
Best London Comedy Clubs
The spiritual home of London stand-up has kick started many comedian's careers.
1a Oxendon Street, Soho, London, SW1Y 4EE
Events at Comedy Store
Saturday 21st January 2017 at 7.30pm and 11pm | 7.30pm £23.50, 11pm £17.50
Offbeat musical comedy and fast-paced gags from guitar-wielding stand-up and former contributor to Richard Herring's podcast As It Occurs To Me, Christian Reilly. Plus Marlon Davis, Paul McCaffrey, Joe Lycett and MC Paul Thorne.
Sunday 22nd January 2017 - 7.30pm | £17, concs £12
Guest acts take to the stage for a night of improvisational humour. With Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey and Andy Smart.
Tuesday 24th January 2017 - 8pm | £14, concs £9
Jarred Christmas, Angela Barnes, Mick Ferry, Imran Yusuf, Alistair Barrie and Paul Thorne deliver topical observations.
Wednesday 25th January 2017 - 8pm | £17, concs £12
Guest acts take to the stage for a night of improvisational humour. With Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey, Andy Smart and Ruth Bratt.
Thursday 26th January 2017 - 8pm | £18, concs £13
Lugubrious surrealism from prolific writer, renowned MC and regular member of The Comedy Store's Cutting Edge team, Mick Ferry. Plus Jo Caulfield and special guests.
Nightly 8.15pm | £4-£15 | www. thetopsecretcomedyclub.co.uk
170 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5PD
This new Covent Garden alternative to the West End tourist traps has welcomed the likes of filthy San Franciscan Scott Capurro and TV favourite Andi Osho. Since opening its doors at the Africa Centre in 2012, the Top Secret Comedy Club has grown a loyal following of regulars and is popular with audiences and comedians alike. Located a stone's throw from the Piazza, the subterranean Top Secret Comedy Club is open seven nights a week with tickets as low as £4 during the week and £15 on the weekends. Other big name performers include Danny Bhoy, Erich McElroy, Jason Manford, Lee Nelson, Paul Foot, Paul Sinha, Sara Pascoe, Seann Walsh and Shazia Mirza. Doors open at 7pm with shows starting at 8.15pm and finishing by 11pm. See www. thetopsecretcomedyclub.co.uk for more details.
Saturdays 8pm | £12.50 | www.thefunnyside.info
213 Strand, Holborn, London, WC2R 1AP
Tube: Temple Station
The Funny Side comedy group runs comedy clubs in three locations in London, including the flagship Covent Garden venue above The George pub which puts on shows every Saturday (or any of the day of the week - for private parties). The club prides itself on offering an upmarket yet friendly alternative to the usual London comedy experience, with the British Theatre Guide describing the main West End venue as "a firmly established favourite on the London comedy circuit... an evening of original, laugh-out-loud comedy". With space for just 60 to 100 people, the Covent Garden club is normally always sold out and so it's best to book in advance. Having opened its doors in 2006, the Funny Side won the best small comedy venue category in the Chortle Awards 2007. The club also runs twice monthly comedy courses in association with Sprout Ideas. Saturday tickets cost £12.50 for consistently top line-ups of exciting, mirthful talent from all over the UK and beyond. Meanwhile, The George pub, under the same ownership as East Dulwich favourites The Bishop and The Victoria Inn, is run by Capital Pub Company with the same winning formula that has made The Florence in Herne Hill such a success. Other Funny Side nights run in Earlsfield (monthly Saturdays) and at an 'all new' location in Leicester Square (for private or shared parties). See www.thefunnyside.info for details and full listings.
Last Sunday of each month 8pm | £5-£7 | www.riseoftheidiots.co.uk
The Exhibit, 12 Balham Station Road, London, SW12 9SG
Tube: Balham Station
Based at The Exhibit Pub in Balham, the Rise of the Idiots Comedy Club runs monthly nights (last Sunday of each month) showcasing the very best new stand-up comedy talent alongside some big-name headliners. The likes of big friendly Irish giant Dara O'Briain, Mike Wilmot, Phil Nichol, Rob Deering and current Edinburgh favourite Doc Brown have all performed at this up-and-coming south London venue, which counts busy compere and comedy man-about-town James Mullinger amongst its big fans. Tickets cost just £5 if booked in advance or £7 if purchased on the door. For more information visit www.riseoftheidiots.co.uk.
First Thursday of the month 8.30pm | £7-£9 | www.claphamcomedyclub.co.uk
Bread & Roses pub, 68 Clapham Manor Street, London, SW4 6DZ
Tube: Clapham Common Station
Resident comperes Leanne Scott and Sion James host monthly shows on the first Thursday of every month in this wonderfully friendly and intimate comedy club at the Bread & Roses pub in Clapham. Big names like Danny Boyle and Nick Helm have both taken to the Clapham Comedy Club stage here while recent performers include Isy Suttie, Tom Wrigglesworth, Sara Pascoe, John Gordillo and Henry Parker. Compere Sion James is a "loveable giant" (Time Out) renowned for his expert riffs and compelling ability to interact with the audience without putting people on the spot or making them feel awkward. As well as the monthly shows there are the odd one-off comedy nights put on in the name of a good cause or for a special occasion - so keep checking www.claphamcomedyclub.co.uk for full listing details. The Bread & Roses pub is spread out over three floors and boasts a decent beer garden. It's run by a trades union council and affiliated to the Worker's Beer Company, with a function room hosting an array of live music and jazz events as well as this top comedy night. Tickets cost £7 in advance or £9 on the door with the show starting at 8.30pm. There are happy hour prices from 4.30pm until 8pm ahead of comedy nights, with the bar staying open until midnight. Bar food is also available.
Last Wednesday of the month 8pm | £5 | @HootingBroadway
Selkirk Road, London, SW17 0ES
Tube: Tooting Broadway Station
The self-proclaimed hottest new comedy club in South London, Hooting Broadway takes place on the last Wednesday of every month upstairs at The Selkirk pub in, er, Tooting Broadway. Performers at this comedic new kid on the block include cartoonish Canadian Tony Law (Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You and Russell Howard's Good News), the inventive Dan Antolpolski (the surreal stand-up behind the 'Hedgehogs' best one-liner of the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe), James Mullinger, Nat Luurtsema, Pat Cahill and the delightfully named newcomer Chantal Feduchin-Pate, while Geoff Marsh MCs. Doors open at 8pm and tickets only cost a fiver - a win-win situation for a Wednesday night out. The Selkirk is a relaxed, warm and friendly pub with a superb beer garden, a cracking Sunday roast and a great selection of cask marque real ales, lagers and ciders.
Weekly shows 8pm | £7 | www.outsidetheboxcomedy.co.uk
56 Old Road, Kingston upon Thames, London, KT2 6QA
Tube: Richmond Station
Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr and Robin Williams have all performed at this Kingston club, voted fourth best comedy club by The Guardian. Outside the Box run comedy nights in seven different venues on the outskirts of London and further afar, with nights at the flagship Kingston venue taking place in the backroom of The Fighting Cocks pub the most central (others are at Hampton Hill, Sevenoaks, Sonning, Surbiton, West Molesey and Windsor). Founded in 2006 by frizzy-haired comedian Maff Brown, Inside the Box was created to be the comedy club that everyone wanted to go to and every comedian wanted to play. Six months after opening its doors, Outside the Box won Chortle's Best Small Venue award and is still going strong today, blending big-name acts alongside less recognisable faces and up-and-coming acts. Star comedians often come to Kingston to try out material ahead of major tours and TV shows. More recent performers include the wonderfully deadpan anti-comic Edward Aczel and the sketch trio Wit Tank. Tickets cost £7 with the shows starting at 8pm. For more information please visit www.outsidetheboxcomedy.co.uk.
Thursdays 8.30pm | £8-£10 | www.thecomedytree.com
141 Upper Richmond Road, London, SW15 2TX
Tube: Putney Bridge Station
The love-child of two comics Pete Jonas and Erich McElroy, The Comedy Tree has been bringing hilarious stand-up performances to south west London since 2002. Renowned for its high quality line-ups and intimate atmosphere, The Comedy Tree has attracted some of the world's beacons of hilarity, including Stephen Merchant (the tall one from Extras) and the long-haired lothario Russell Brand. This club has has numerous venues in Putney - including both the Walkabout and Wahoo bars - but has now settled in a new venue on the Upper Richmond Road with weekly Thursday night shows featuring the cream of the comedic crop. Big-name stars such as Lee Mack, Milton Jones and Micky Flanagan, share the stage with stand-up circuit regulars and fresh faces. There are few better ways to prepare for the weekend than with a £15 Thursday night comedy deal - which includes entry into the Comedy Tree, a gourmet burger and a bottle of beer. For information and full listings go to www.thecomedytree.com.
A floating comedy club, The Boat Show is one of London's intriguing venues.
Kings Reach, Victoria Embankment, Westminster, London, SW1A 2HR
Every Friday and Saturday night Tattershall Castle, the passenger ferry-cum-restaurant-cum-waterhole moored opposite the London Eye, hosts the critically acclaimed Boat Show Comedy Club. If you're looking for stand-up shows in an unusual setting, head here and you may get to see one of the big names perform. A £1.8 million refurbishment in 2015 brought fresh paintwork, LED lights and a new lounge room with cabin-style booths. Thursday to Saturday evenings also see the boat transform into a floating nightclub. On comedy nights, tickets cost £13.50 or £11 for concessions (on Fridays) and £16 (£13.50 concessions) on Saturdays and that includes entry to the nightclub afterwards.
IN THIS ARTICLE
The Comedy Store
Top Secret Comedy Club @ The Africa Centre
The Funny Side of Covent Garden
Rise of the Idiots @ The Exhibit
Clapham Comedy Club @ The Bread & Roses
Hooting Broadway @ The Selkirk
Outside The Box Comedy Club
The Comedy Tree
The Boat Show Comedy Club: Tattershall Castle
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