Looking for comedy in London tonight? Then start limbering up those face muscles because there are plenty of cracking line-ups at London's comedy clubs this very evening. Here's a few of the comedy shows we recommend, plus a choice of budget-friendly free gigs.
Two days. One venue. A shit-ton of Edinburgh Fringe previews. Yep, you can hit yourself up with an intense dose of stand-up at ARGComFest, which crams dozens of hour-long work-in-progress shows from top comics into one weekend. Across the two days you can catch *deep breath* Phill Jupitus, Tim Key, Bridget Christie, Alex Edelman, James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe, Simon Munnery, Max & Ivan, Pappy's, Aisling Bea, Lazy Susan, Liam Williams, Dane Baptiste, Mike Wozniak and Mark Watson. *Another breath* Plus Stuart Goldsmith, Ed Gamble, Matthew Crosby, Tom Parry, Joseph Morpurgo, Edwas Aczel, Tom Allen, Pippa Evans, Colin Hoult, Nish Kumar, Mae Martin, Kieran Hodgson, Rhys James, Stuart Laws, Michael Legge, Caroline Mabey, Joanna Neary, Tom Neenan, John-Luke Roberts, John Robins, Fin Taylor and Johnny & the Baptists. (There's still more.) *Final breath* Lou Sanders, Sofie Hagen, Bec Hill, Thom Tuck, Adam Hess, Sarah Bennetto and Robyn Perkins. Phew! Now, if that's not good value for money, we don't know what is. Click here for the full stagetimes.Read more
Back in the late 1980s, when ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ debuted on Channel 4, improvised comedy was a novelty. These days the art of making stuff up on the spot is an established part of the comedy landscape and the capital is teeming with lively improv groups. Which begs the question: why shell out to see a live version of a long-defunct TV show? The answer is simple: because it’s hilarious – a delirious quick-fire delight from the off. Host Clive Anderson begins the evening with some witty scene-setting, before introducing the performers – and past ‘Whose Line…’ regulars – Greg Proops, Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Steve Frost. The crowd go wild. And rarely let up over two manically entertaining hours. The games – many of them familiar from the TV show – come thick and fast. An early highlight sees the performers communicating only in questions. Silliness is piled on absurdity before Mochrie finally breaks his opponent: ‘Why do you ask so many questions?’ Tonight, Mochrie is on fire. The Canadian veteran is a kind of improv savant capable of astonishing leaps of comic imagination (‘You’ve changed my penis into a xylophone?’) and sublime physical comedy (a skit where he plays an ageing lap dancer batting her breasts back and forth like a swingball has the audience in fits). He’s worth the ticket price alone. But one thing Mochrie can’t do is sing. Thank God, then, for Brad Sherwood, whose mastery of music styles – from hip hop to doo wop to stadium rock – does that raRead more
Pay attention during Steen Raskopoulos’s new show. If you’re picked as one of the Australian character comic’s onstage stooges, you’ll need to remember previous skits to keep the scene moving along. But don’t worry, it’s not a test: it’s just part of an intricately woven show where jokes refer back to previous sketches and foreshadow future ones, and it’s joyfully silly. Raskopoulos is fully aware that ‘audience participation’ are two words no punter wants to hear. ‘I wouldn’t make an audience member do anything I wouldn’t do myself,’ he claims at the top of the show, before pulling someone on to the stage. He seems genuine, too. While the idea of being called upon to compete in a freestyle rap battle seems terrifying, the reality – like most of Raskopoulos’s audience work – isn’t so frightening. Instead, the 28-year-old comic makes heroes of his new co-stars. He’s a cute, playful puppy, not a growling Rottweiler. We meet an executioner who’s outsmarted by his Death Row prisoner, a workplace manager whose office seems to be located in the middle of a Zelda temple, and we discover why Raskopoulos – who’s about to star in BBC Three’s ‘Top Coppers’ – is terrible at bedroom role-play. Plus there’s the return of Yianni Kostopopoulos, a Greek Orthodox priest who chants film reviews and a favourite from Raskopoulos’s last show, this time tackling Disney’s ‘Frozen’. There’s sharp writing behind the silliness, but it’s Raskopoulos’s warm, endearing performance that keeps the energyRead more
Veteran comedian and promoter Ivor Dembina hosts this cosy, Saturday night comedy club a few minutes from Camden Town tube (the club's now moved from the Pembroke Castle to the Camden Head). Dembina puts the quality of the show over everything else, booking a mixture of well-established circuit comics, hotly tipped newbies and the occasional TV favourite. See the dates below for each line-up.Read more
Now in its thirteenth year, this top-notch long-established club isn't actually in Covent Garden anymore, but instead under the arches of Charing Cross. You can see circuit stalwarts and rising comedy stars here, every Saturday night. See the dates below for each line-up.Read more
This central London club at the Comedy Pub always features impressive line-ups mixing circuit stalwarts with talented rising stars. With three to five shows a week, and tickets at £10 max in advance, it's very good value indeed. Check 'dates and times' for the latest line-ups.Read more