Comedy clubs in London
Because if you can’t laugh at yourself…laugh at other people
This is an article about comedy clubs in London. There will be no jokes or puns. We promise. Read on to learn about a few of the best comedy venues the city has to offer. Or do not. We’re just happy you’re here, reading this article. Which is about comedy clubs. In London.
Click on the venue names for a link to their location on Google Maps
This cool-but-friendly Spitalfields pub hosts a wide range of events, but its comedy night is famed for great value and big laughs. Every Wednesday night the City Comedy Club lures punters in with the promise (or threat) of a free beer with each ticket purchased, but the success of the comedians is demonstrated in the fact that people don’t leave as soon as they’ve finished their drink (even if Liverpool Street Station is handily nearby).
Right in the heart of the enduringly cool Soho lies a theatre esteemed for the superb quality of the comedy on offer. They show cabaret, theatre, performance art and comedy, but it is the latter for which this reputable institution is so well known. With the likes of Tim Key, Shappi Khorsandi and Sarah Kendall regularly gigging here, everyone is sure to find something that tickles them on any given night of the week. It’s also a charity, aiming to nurture new writers and new audiences, so you can enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of philanthropy, regardless of whether the laughs are flowing or not.
The passion for performance is palpable as soon as you pass by this peculiar pub. Running out of the Camden Head, the Angel Comedy Club serves up free gigs every night of the week. The founders simply love comedy and believe in its value as an art form, which means that you can be assured of the quality of the stand-ups. They also run another venue, The Bill Murray (yes, you read correctly), where, although the gigs aren’t free, you’re sure to see something new and innovative whenever you go.
This venerable old central London institution is probably the most famous venue in British comedy. Still going strong 40 years after it first opened its doors, the list of comics who have performed here reads like a roll-call of the greatest influencers on the scene over the past several decades. Alexei Sayle, French and Saunders, Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, Jo Brand…the list goes on. If you’re looking for the biggest performers in a professional, impressive setting, this is the one to go for.
They bill themselves as London’s worst kept secret, and what remains of the anonymous cool they once enjoyed is eking away as more and more comedy fans realise what they’re missing. Laughably cheap tickets (expect to pay under £3 to see multiple acts) and frankly unpatriotic drinks prices (if you’re paying less than a fiver a pint, are you really even in London?) have rendered the Top Secret Comedy Club one of the go-to nights out for Londoners after a laugh. Nestled between the great theatres of Drury Lane, one can readily imagine audiences bored with Molière sneaking out in the interval and sneaking down the road for a dose of witty medicine.
Further out from the centre of town, in the leafy environs of suburban Greenwich (we exaggerate; hop on the DLR and you’ll be there in a pig’s whistle) is an exciting new venue in which up-and-coming comics cut their teeth and audiences get to enjoy cheap drinks. Very friendly (not a heckler’s paradise, this one) and well-kitted out with a lovably cheesy post-party disco, Up the Creek is fast becoming a major player on the London scene. Get along while the going is good.