17 Sep 2010
London's Best Comedy Clubs
From West End musicals to gritty live music and lively comedy venues, London has no shortage of amazing entertainment options. If you're looking for some laughs, there's a huge range of comedy clubs in London that will tickle your funny bone.
From world-famous names performing in large venues, such as the Comedy Store London to comedy newcomers brushing up their skill in rooms over pubs, London offers the world's greatest selection of live comedy.
1. Comedy Store
Without doubt this is the daddy of all comedy clubs. Seven nights a week you can see some of the best comedy anywhere on the planet. Apart from the corking bills every Thursday to Saturday check out the brilliant Comedy Store Players (Wed and Sun), the fantastic Cutting Edge Team (Tue), while the Gong Show on the last Monday of every month is simply not to be missed.
2. Comedy Camp
This intimate straight-friendly gay club based in the heart of Soho is one of the best nights out of comedy anywhere in the capital. The audiences are always up for a great night and resident host and promoter Simon Happily only books fabulous acts.
3. Banana Cabaret
Satisfaction guaranteed every Friday and Saturday at this exciting club in a big roundhouse setting at the Bedford Arms in Balham. Promoter Dave Vickers knows the business inside out.
Downstairs at the King’s Head
Founded back in 1981, this Crouch End venue is still run with huge enthusiasm by immensely knowledgeable promoter Pete Grahame. It’s a friendly place where comedians can experiment and play around with complete freedom.
4. Jongleurs Battersea
Flagship of the Jongleurs chain and established back in 1983, it’s a place that’s synonymous with an unashamedly businesslike approach to comedy. Powerful bills, but it’s the overall package with food and post-show dancing that really counts.
5. Comedy Café
Situated in Shoreditch, this is another purpose-built club set up by a comedian. Noel Faulkner mainly keeps to the back room now, but his influence can be felt in the emphasis on inviting bills and satisfied punters.
The only purpose-built club in west London (what is it that makes that side of the city such infertile ground for comedy?) with highly experienced Simon Randall, who also operates Ha Bloody Ha in nearby Ealing Studios, at the helm.
7. Hampstead Comedy Club
Comedian Ivor Dembina, who hosts this Saturday night club, advocates a no-frills approach. He hates the sound of people scoffing food during a show. He detests the idea of a disco afterwards. Instead, he invests everything in booking interesting and exciting acts.
8. Bearcat Club
Out in suburban Twickenham and one of London’s oldest clubs. All the big acts have played here. Well worth a Saturday night visit, but not on a day when the England rugby team have a game.
9. Chuckle Club
In the course of 24 years Eugene Cheese’s club has found itself in many different venues. Now it seems to have found a permanent home in the Tutu's bar in King's College. A mix of top-ranking and newer comics, and a big emphasis on fun. There are few more enjoyable places to have a great night out than here. These guys really know how to put a bill together.
10. Up The Creek
This legendary club in Greenwich has been around for donkey’s years and still holds its own. It’s well-known for its lively slightly bear pit-like atmosphere where only the strongest comics survive. However, on a Sunday night there’s a much more chilled feel to the ‘Sunday Special Club’ which make it the perfect place to end the weekend.
11. Soho Theatre
Over the last few years the Soho Theatre has become one of the places in London to see comics break out of their normal club sets to perform more substantial solo shows. There is always a good mix of the best in homegrown and international talent on display.
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