The top ten comedy shows this month

Our critic’s pick of December's must-see comedy shows in London

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There's an overwhelming number of comedy shows to choose from in London. Our advice? Buy tickets to any of the ten shows we recommend and you'll have a cracking time.

The best comedy in London this December

1

Heroes Grotto of Comedy

We’ve cheated a bit here. The 'Heroes Grotto of Comedy' isn’t just one show, it’s a two-week pop-up comedy venue. Ramshackle comedian and promoter Bob Slayer takes over an empty restaurant – formerly the rather fancy Throgmortons – for his festive comedy project – Stewart Lee, Josie Long, Sara Pascoe and Nick Helm are just some of the performers who’ll take to the stage in the crumbling building, which we’d lovingly describe as ‘a health-and-safety nightmare’. Plus, Slayer will keep the booze flowing until 2am at his ‘Fool Members Club’ each night, whether you want another drink or not. What will the City suiters of Bank make of their new temporary neighbour? We can’t wait to find out.

  1. Throgmortons
  2. Wed Dec 3 - Thu Dec 18
More info
2

Funz and Gamez

Technically, ‘Funz and Gamez’ – which won the Panel Prize at the 2014 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards – is a childrens' show. But this chaotic, gloriously silly hour is even more ‘funz’ for grown-ups. There are ‘gamez’ aplenty, but the kids have no chance of winning. It seems cruel on paper, but while the nippers are momentarily disappointed at losing an arm-wrestling match or staring competition, they’re also given free rein to be naughty. And the adults get to laugh at the stream of inappropriate jokes that go straight over the kids' heads. It really is funz for all the family.

  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Sat Dec 6 - Sun Jan 4
Buy tickets
3

© Idil Sukan Draw HQ

Adam Riches – Adam of the Riches

Superbly silly character comic Adam Riches – 2011’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner – is back with his first solo show since winning the gong, and it’s another triumph of cunningly crafted, high-energy character comedy that’s big on laughs. The characters themselves – like his ‘gravel-sweating’ interpretation of Sean Bean – are big, bold and stupid. But it’s when Riches begins his trademark audience participation that the show takes an infectiously funny turn. This Soho Theatre run is bound to be a massive hit.

  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Mon Dec 8 - Sat Jan 3
Buy tickets
4

A Christmas Tail – Weirdos Alternative Panto

What the Weirdos comedy collective's third annual alternative Christmas panto will involve, we just don't know. It’s looking a bit fishy at the moment. But we can pretty much guarantee it'll be stupidly fun, and it's all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The troupe's pantos are fast becoming a Christmas comedy tradition. The first two were wonderfully chaotic, and brought together a huge cast of bizarro comics. 2014's 'A Christmas Tail' will be no different, with a mammoth cast including Harriet Kemsley, Pat Cahill, Beth Vyse and 2014 Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Kearns. Weirdos boss Adam Larter has penned the play, with Matthew Highton taking on the director duties.

  1. Heroes Grotto of Comedy Throgmortons, 27c Throgmorton St, EC2N 2AQ
  2. Tue Dec 9 - Sat Dec 13
Buy tickets
5

© Ed Moore

Nick Helm – Merry Christmas Motherf**kers!

London, prepare to be kicked hard in the baubles, as the thrillingly unpredictable Nick Helm hits the capital with a festive treat. The BBC Three star's 'Merry Christmas Motherf**kers!' is bound to be as much about gravel-voiced classic rock tunes as it is about tinsel and Jesus, and it'll definitely be a riot. These tickets are going like hot mince pies.

  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Mon Dec 8 - Sat Dec 20
Buy tickets
6

© Steve Ullathorne

UK Jewish Comedy Festival

Already well under way is the country's first ever Jewish Comedy Festival, put together by NW3's JW3 venue. Across the week-long fest you can catch stand-up shows, conversations, films and more, with big name headliners including David Baddiel, reviving his much acclaimed solo show 'Fame: Not the Musical', and Ruby Wax with her latest, 'Sane New World'.

  1. JW3 Jewish Community Centre, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET
  2. Sat Nov 29 - Sun Dec 7
More info
7

© Rob Greig

Karl and Joz's Over the Top Christmas Love In

If you're in need of some proper festive cheer, look no further than this top notch charity gig hosted by Karl Schultz and Joz Norris. Their Christmas list is a big'un, featuring *deep breath* big-collared comedy god Harry Hill, Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award winners John Kearns, Bridget Christie and Tim Key, smart stand-up Sara Pascoe, triple Foster's Award nominee Josie Long, oddball character act Brian Gittins and erudite grumpster Liam Williams. They're all joining forces at the Bloomsbury Theatre to raise money for a homeless and unemployed charity at the Barking Salvation Army.

  1. Bloomsbury Theatre 15 Gordon St, WC1H 0AH
  2. Mon Dec 8
More info
8

© Zoe Zimmer

Alfie Brown – Divorced from Reality (and My Wife)

Alfie Brown is quickly establishing himself as one of the gutsiest, most compelling voices on the comedy circuit. The 27-year-old stand-up isn’t one to shy away from contentious topics, even when they occasionally make for tough listening. But Brown’s not in the market for easy, shock laughs; there’s depth and intelligence to his material. Stick with him and there’s always a satisfying punchline or smart viewpoint at the end of the path. Basically, Dapper Laughs he ain't.

  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Tue Dec 2 - Sat Dec 6
More info
9

© Ed Moore

Romesh Ranganathan – Rom Wasn't Built in a Day

Ranganathan was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2013 Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, but made the leap to the main prize list this year for this wonderfully grumpy show. The misanthropic stand-up spirals off into rants about race, his own veganism and the Ice Bucket Challenge. His material's smartly written, but Ranganathan's permanently pissed-off persona adds an extra layer of funny.

  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Tue Dec 2 - Sat Dec 6
Buy tickets
10

© Andy Hollingworth

Ross Noble – Tangentleman

The Geordie master of spontaneous stand-up and king of surreal flights of fantasy is back in London with his 'Tangentleman' tour, playing three nights at the Hammersmith Apollo this month. A Ross Noble show is always a hoot – he talks nonsense of the highest order, and is constantly distracted by members of the audience, making every gig pretty much unique.

  1. Eventim Apollo Hammersmith 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH
  2. Wed Dec 3 - Fri Dec 5
Buy tickets

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Users say

4 comments
Cody
Cody

Go see Bo Burnham. 'What.' is pure entertainment.

Martin Besserman
Martin Besserman

The shows above all sound very inviting ,but so are all shows that the Monkey Business Comedy club puts on every Saturday night You are warmly welcome to have look at our website www.monkeybusinesscomedyclub.co.uk . to check out all the Award winning performers we have on .

Martin Besserman
Martin Besserman

The shows above sound all inviting ,but so are all shows that the Monkey Business Comedy club are putting on in April www.monkeybusinesscomedyclub.co.uk .You are warmly welcome to have look at our website .