The most popular comedy shows in London
See the ten hottest shows on the London comedy circuit
Don't know about you, but we like to be 'in the know' about the comedy shows in London that are 'so totally hot right now'. Well, using some sort of complicated algorithm the list below gives you the top 10 most popular comedy shows currently on the Time Out website. Now you'll never miss out those hot tickets that everyone's talking about – hurrah!
- Critics choice
You may know Tim Key as Alan Partridge's number two, Sidekick Simon. But you should know Key for his superb live work, combining lovingly shot short films, silly, pithy poems and ridiculous stories. He's one of our favourite comics, well, ever. Now he's bringing the next in his 'Slut' series (following 'The Slut in the Hut', 'The Slutcracker' and 'Masterslut') to Soho Theatr, the Arcola Tent and Duchess Theatre: 'Single White Slut'. It's bloody marvellous.
Stand-up from carefully selected open-mic comics and experienced acts testing new stuff or performing solid-gold sets – all for free (with a voluntary donation at the end, of course). The room gets absolutely rammed, so get down there early if you want to grab a seat. The club's now running seven nights a week. Mondays are either 'Bad Film Nights' or improv shows, Tuesday's show features an hour-long solo show or Edinburgh Fringe preview, and Wednesdays and Sundays are new act and new material gigs. To check the latest line-ups, see the dates below.
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
Following cult comic Daniel Kitson’s parallel career as a storyteller has been like watching the evolution of the operating system in the film ‘Her’: what began as a whimsical diversion has evolved into something altogether stranger.Last year’s ‘As of 1.52pm GMT on Friday April 27th 2012, This Show Has No Title’ saw Kitson starting to mangle his regular tropes – loneliness, old people, silly names, temporally jumbled plotlines, humour as quaintly English as an argument over the pronunciation of the word ‘scone’ – with a post-modern archness that suggested he’d become bored of spinning bittersweet yarns for adoring audiences.‘Analog.Ue’ hints at the same, but where its predecessor felt like Kitson was a man without a plan, this has a singular vision. Clearly somewhat indebted to Beckett’s ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’, the words in ‘Analog.Ue’ are entirely pre-recorded, split over 46 tapes played on 46 vintage machines, operated by a resolutely silent Kitson.It is a series of ‘forgotten clues to a made-up mystery’, with no written script and the intention that the tapes will be sold and scattered when Kitson is done with the show. It is a work about performance: questioning what it is, why people do it, what an audience want. It is also a work about loneliness, with the silent Kitson’s evasion of audience rapport serving to heighten the melancholy. And mixed in there is a bloody good yarn, laden with classic Kitson tropes, but pushed into chillier, more abstract territory by the form.It
- Critics choice
There’s no doubt about it, the Comedy Store is the daddy of all comedy clubs, and what most other gigs strive to be. Seemingly as old as London itself, the club has been instrumental in the growth of alternative comedy, and still to this day hosts stunning shows most nights of the week. At weekends they host conservative stand-up shows, with circuit stalwarts performing their tried-and-tested sets. See below for the latest line-ups. Check out our guide to the Comedy Store.
The creator of mega-popular slapstick sitcom 'Miranda' returns to the stand-up stage, for the first time in five years. Hart isn't messing about, she's going straight in with an arena tour, and says to expect the show to include 'galloping' and 'attempts at song and dance'. Such fun!
- Critics choice
There’s no stopping headline-grabbing wunderkind Jack Whitehall. He’s already achieved more in his first quarter-century than most comics could accomplish in a lifetime. Now he can add ‘arena filler’ to his CV, with the announcement of a full-blown arena tour, including these Wembley and O2 dates. As it’ll be such a massive show, the ‘Fresh Meat’ star’s acting as ringmaster and performing the gig in the round. No doubt various newspapers will find something outrageous about that; perhaps it’s offensive to squares?
Boosh fans, it's time to dig out those lightning bolt t-shirts you bought on the 2006 tour. Noel Fielding – the Hoxton-haired half of the Mighty Boosh; you know, the one with the pointy features – is hitting the road with 'An Evening with Noel Fielding', which he's bringing to Hammersmith and Brixton. The surrealist comic is promising a mix of stand-up, live animations, music and appearances from his character creations, including The Moon and Fantasy Man. There are also support slots from Noel's brother, Mike Fielding, best known as 'Naboo' from the series and long-time Boosh collaborator Steve Oram. Imagine that!
This central London club, at the newly renovated Comedy Pub, always features good, solid line-ups for some weekend giggles every Friday and Saturday night. For the latest line-ups see the dates below.
- Critics choice
Penn & Teller are two of the finest magicians working in the world, and have been for, well, decades now. Specialising in ingenious, often gory illusions and exposing frauds, they've been nominated for 13 Emmys, have appeared on everything from 'Letterman' to 'The Simpsons', and produced some of most astonishing and mind-baffling tricks ever created. Now the pair have become judges on ITV's 'Fool Us', they're bringing a version of their Vegas show to the Hammersmith Apollo, following a hugely successful run back in 2010. Don't miss this extremely rare chance to catch this hugely funny duo outside of Vegas.
It's been ten years since 'The Office' left our screens, but David Brent's Comic Relief skits and YouTube videos earlier this year have proved that the public are still craving Brent. He's undoubtedly Ricky Gervais's funniest and most successful character creation, and after selling out work-in-progress shows in a matter of seconds, he's ready to play the Hammersmith Apollo (quite a large venue for an office middle-manager from Slough). This isn't a stand-up show. Brent will be backed by his band, Foregone Conclusion, to perform ‘Ooh La La’, ‘Spaceman Came Down’, ‘Life on The Road’, ‘Ain’t No Trouble’ and more, live. Tickets will be snapped up super quickly and go on sale on Friday March 7 at 9am. Good luck!
Read a bunch of Key’s poems, written on the back of (often filthy) playing cards
The multi award-winner pens a poem exclusively for Time Out
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