The London Comedy Venue Guide

london comedy guide index

An A-Z guide to all of the best places you can regularly watch comedy in old London town.

The venue with the infamously un-private toilets which are right next to the stage, don’t let that put you off as they get some of the best acts in the country performing there, along with hosting some regular mixed bill nights which are just superb, and this is easily one of our favourite venues for comedy in the city.

99 Piccadilly Comedy Club
I haven’t been here in about a decade but when I did Paul Foot and Bob Mills performed, and it was a fun night out in general. It’s a club in the West End though, so expect it to be a little pricier than others.

Angel Comedy
This great indie comedy establishment has two venues, both in Islington, with The Bill Murray pub host to regular comedy nights and a number of hour long shows, while The Camden Head mostly sees a mixture of open mic and pro comedians perform as part of mixed bills. One of the best loved places in the country, if the comedy isn’t free it’s normally extremely cheap, which is another reason we recommend visiting it.

The Albany
Located close to Great Portland Street this basement venue is another that should be visited asap, their mixed bill nights are superb (with it being the residency for the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society among others) while they’re a great place to catch Edinburgh Previews too.

Backyard Comedy Club
This Comedy Club in Bethnal Green is a nice little space, and attracts some really superb comedians on a regular basis. On the downside it’s the home of the tediously shit “Comedy Unleashed”, and right-wing owner Lee Hurst sometimes performs, but we really shouldn’t hold that against the place.

Bloomsbury Theatre And Studio
A venue which often hosts a mixture of stand up and comedy events (like Werewolf: Live and Knightmare Live) it also often puts on some superb charity gigs too, and though on the higher end when it comes to price it’s also one of the nicest and comfiest venues around.

The Camden Head
A different venue to the Angel Comedy one and actually in Camden, this hosts comedy every night of the week, a mixture of full length shows from various comedians and mixed bill nights, it’s not a huge venue but it is one we’re very fond of.

The Cavendish Arms
A thrice weekly open mic night, with occasional full length shows on other evenings or at the weekends (especially close to Edinburgh), this is the best open mic night in the city, mainly because it’s a bringer – I’m aware some comics dislike the concept but it ensures a decent audience, and the people who run it are lovely too.

The Comedy Store
One of the best known comedy venues in the country, I have to confess to not being a huge fan. For one thing it’s bloody expensive, many of the acts who perform their have been going for decades (and so has their material) and it’s host to the notoriously sexist King Gong show. Still, um, sometimes some great acts play it, so it might be worth keeping an eye on, but I can’t say I’ve any plans to return any time soon.

The Finsbury
Home to Bear Funny Comedy among others, it’s another great venue which attracts decent acts and tickets are often cheap too, so it earns a recommendation from us.

Hammersmith Apollo
The far too large venue a lot of famous American comedians tend to play, unless you’re seated near the stage it’s unlikely to be an experience you value, as straining to see a comedian perform just isn’t fun in our opinion.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Comedy Club
A seasonal club that’s only open in November and December each year, it’s inside a circus style big top and is nice enough if you’re close to the stage, but it’s pretty expensive for what it is as the shows only last forty five minutes.

Leicester Square Theatre
Definitely in our top three of the best venues in the city, many of the best comedians in the country (if not the world) often play here. It’s sometimes a bit pricey but worth it given the quality of acts they attract, and how comfortable it is too.

The Moth Club
Hackney’s The Moth Club is in our top five when it comes to venues, it’s a great room which attracts some brilliant comedians, and many of the mixed bill nights are among the best the capital has to offer.

Museum Of Comedy
The smaller, spin-off venue from the Leicester Square Theatre, the museum itself isn’t all that (but will hopefully grow over time) but the venue is a lovely one with a great atmosphere, and the gigs in the smaller bar area are fun too.

Night Bus Comedy
A pretty unique one this as it’s a comedy club that takes place on a bus, it’s only on weekly and we’ve yet to go, but the line up’s are often filled with comics we have a lot of time for.

The Phoenix, Oxford Circus
A very warm, comfortable space which has a great new material night on Mondays that a lot of well known comedians like to drop in at, it’s a place which is in central London and easy to get to and yet not that expensive, which makes us like it a lot.

Phoenix Arts Centre, Charring Cross Road
With a stage in the middle of the room and seats either side it can be a bit of an odd experience, though most of the time it’s set up so only half the room is used. Either way we like it, though it doesn’t always get the most well known names.

The Pleasance
A proper theatre which comes complete with a smaller space for less well known stand ups, the Pleasance hosts some of the best comedy around, it’s sometimes slightly more expensive than other venues but the main theatre space is superb, and we’re fond of the smaller stage too.

The Rose and Crown
The home of the Red Imp comedy club, it’s a decent sized space and though it doesn’t host a huge amount of comedy, a few times a month it gets some great acts and so is worth checking out.

Soho Theatre
Our favourite venue in London, they get the funniest shows from the best comedians around, and over the years I’ve seen sensational hours from the likes of Stewart Lee, Alexei Sayle, Joseph Morpurgo, Sofie Hagen, Greg Proops, Kim Noble, Spencer Jones, Natasha Leggero, Police Cops and countless others who I’ve adored. With three different rooms there’s great comedy pretty much every night, and if you love (or even like) comedy it’s a place you’ll want to visit time and again.

South Kensington Comedy Club
A venue we’ve yet to attend it hosts different gigs each and every night and the word on the street (ie a friend commented) that it’s a decent enough place and worth visiting at least once, and maybe many times more.

The Star Of Kings
A decent sized pub venue in King’s Cross, downstairs it has a great space for stand up and comfy seats, something far too many venues seem to hate.

The Taproom
A small basement room it’s lacking in charm but it is well run, you’ll be able to see some superb comedians during preview season up close, while it’s home to the fantastic This Is Your Trial and Comedy Auction gigs in the afternoons at weekends.

The Top Secret Comedy Club, Covent Garden
It’s a small venue but the space is nicely intimate, and it’s another venue we’re very fond of which hosts a great number of mixed bill nights and solo shows each week.

The Vaults
Partially located near Waterloo station in what looks like a post apocalyptic tunnel (with another venue nearby), it can be a little expensive but the talent it attracts is superb, and during the annual festival you can easily spend the day there seeing a number of great acts, if you’ve the money to do so at least.

Vauxhall Comedy Club
A venue which hosts a number of mixed bills each and every week, we’ve yet to attend but hear good things, and certainly the line up’s often look pretty strong.

If your venue isn’t featured here it’s because we’ve either forgotten or weren’t aware of it, but please do get in touch at with details about it and we’ll try to attend it as soon as we can. We’d also like to write a guide to comedy venues across the UK but so far have only attended a few, but if anyone wishes to contribute to such an article please contact us at the same address.

Alex Finch.
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