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!
Improv gets a bad rap in this country, but anyone who dismisses the genre clearly hasn't seen Austentatious. This highly impressive troupe perform a completely improvised Jane Austen novel, complete with period dress and cello accompaniment, with marvellous results. Made up of Andrew Murray, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Joseph Morpurgo, Cariad Lloyd, Graham Dickson and Rachel Parris, they're all hugely talented performers, able to keep the gag rate high and the made-up story rolicking along. Tremendous fun.
Hyperactive comedy superstar Russell Howard is embarking on his biggest ever world tour – inventively titled 'Round the World' – taking in the US, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. And for his London stint, the Bristolian arena-filler is playing a whopping ten-night run at the Royal Albert Hall. It's not till 2017, but buy tickets soon, is our advice. Plus, wherever possible, Howard will be performing 'in the round'. The former 'Mock The Week' regular is one of the friendliest comics around, moving from topic to topic with effortless ease, and loves to examine life's simple pleasures, tell stories about his mad mum and basically fool around like a cheeky teenager. Unless you've been living in a wifi-free cave, you'll know that his self-titled series 'Russell Howard's Good News' is wildly popular, pulling in millions of viewers and constantly ranking as the most watched programme on the BBC iPlayer. His new Comedy Central offering, 'Russell Howard's Stand Up Central', has been a huge hit, too. But Howard's most at home live on stage. He's a fast-talking charmer, and always a huge amount of fun. Read our interview with Russell Howard
Can you believe Al Murray has now spent 20 years as one of the finest comedy character creations in the country, the Pub Landlord? After battling Farage in South Thanet, Murray's headlng to the Royal Albert Hall with his new show, 'Let's Go Backwards Together'. The Pub Landlord's a national treasure, and one never short of an opinion of topical issues, so expect some gags on the Brexit fall-out. And remember, punters: please take your glasses back to the bar…
London lad Rob Beckett has quickly become part of the comedy mainstream, popping up on Live at the Apollo and various panel shows with his unmistakable toothy grin. He's developed into a hugely accomplished stand-up and will play his biggest show yet in 2017, at Hammersmith Apollo. Expect the usual mix of cheeky stories and witty observations.
Charming Canadian comic Mae Martin hosts Mae Martin & Friends, a monthly night at Soho Theatre and one of the best new material nights in the capital. In February she’s put together a stellar line-up: Sarah Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan, Adam Hess and Emma Sidi. New material nights have their own special magic: raucous, ramshackle affairs, where you get to hear your favourite comics minus the polish (and the hefty ticket price). Okay, so it means hearing a few dud jokes and a few mumbled apologies when said comics lose the thread of their freshly-minted routines, but the flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants vibe has a charm all of its own.
The unstoppable 'Showstopper!' is back in 2017 for more improv-based musical theatre larks, this time at the Lyric Theatre until June. The cast of Showstopper are the best musical improvisational group we've ever seen. From a handful of suggestions from the audience they create a full-length, hilarious musical. More talent on stage than you can shake a stick at. Read our review of the 2015 run of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical