Comedy

Jason Allen 29/02/24


The Best Comedy Shows In London Right Now

“Comedy is the best medicine… of the non-medicines.”
– Bo Burnham

London is home to one of the world’s truly great comedy scenes, offering rooms of all sizes, and acts to suit all tastes. Here, then The Nudge’s Contributing Editor (and professional comedian) Max Olesker serves up a tightly curated edit of the finest comedy shows playing in the capital this month. Because in a stressful and difficult world, comedy’s good for what ails you – and this list of upcoming shows is no joke…


Want to get to know the venues? Peruse our guide to London’s best comedy clubs


THE BEST COMEDY SHOWS IN FEBRUARY

Lucy & Friends | Soho Theatre

Lucy McCormick tends to straddle the line between comedy, performance art, and a very public cry for help in her shows – her debut, Triple Threat, was a retelling of the New Testament that involved Jesus being fingered. Holy indeed. And it went and won a bunch of awards. And now she’s back with a show that’s essentially a cabaret in which she plays all the parts. It’s wild, it’s provocative, but it’s also painfully funny. As the tare note, “Lucy leaves her audiences needing a hug, a cry and an immediate shower.”

Dinner before: A cheeky kebab at Berenjak
Drinks after: Korean fun at Hongdae Pocha
Details: Lucy & Friends is playing at the Soho Theatre until 16th March. Tickets cost £15-£27 and you can get them right HERE.

Austentatious | The Arts Theatre

Austentatious | the best london comedy shows right now

The phrase ‘Improvised Jane Austen comedy show’ might, conceivably, send a shudder down the spine of the prospective theatregoer – but that’s only if they’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, and haven’t heard of the critically-adored, five star, sell-out, now-performing-regularly-in-the-West-End triumph that is Austentatious. A pool of London’s finest improvisers contribute to this well-loved, well-dressed, and impeccably-delivered show in which, with the help of a title collected from a pool of audience suggestions (near-misses are also read out at the start, and there are invariably some bangers), an entire narrative is spun from nothing before your very eyes. Loosen your bodices, and bring your smelling salts – you may well laugh yourself into a state of hysteria.

Dinner before: Top-rate steaks at Flat Iron Covent Garden
Drinks after: Get eccentric at Mr Fogg’s Tavern
Details: Austentatious is playing at the Arts Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) on 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th March 2024. Tickets are from £19.90 (standing) and available HERE.

Olga Koch: Prawn Cocktail | EartH

olga - the best london theatre shows right now

In a show that combines both brains and prawn, Olga Koch is firing on all cylinders after critically acclaimed performances at last year’s Fringe and around the UK. Her ability to induce toe-curling second-hand embarrassment while subtly needling at the flimsy nature of online intimacy and the pitfalls of casual sex is masterful, and you’re in for a hell of a ride through her salmonella-laced adult gap year over this 55 minute set. Deliciously filthy and assertively delivered: Prawn Cocktail is a starter for 10.

Dinner before: Top-tier tacos at Corrochio’s
Drinks after: Drinks that slap at Red Hand
Details: Olga Koch: Prawn Cocktail is on at EartH (nearest tube Dalston Kingsland) on 2nd March. Tickets cost £17.85 and can be booked HERE.

Catherine Bohart: Again, With Feelings | Soho Theatre

Her highly-anticipated new tour show kicks off with a run at Soho Theatre, in which she’ll be exploring the commonly interlinked topics of sex and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, somehow finding humour in the pretty devastating combo of emerging from lockdown while grappling with OCD, and the generally disappointing nature of adulthood. An evening where you’ll be in very safe hands indeed.

Dinner before: Tequila-buttered mussels at Rita’s
Drinks after: Pudding & cocktails at Basement Sate
Details: Catherine Bohart: Again, With Feelings runs at Soho Theatre (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road) from 4th – 23rd March. Tickets start at £16 and can be booked HERE.

Louise Atkinson: Mates | Crazy Coqs

louise atkinson comedy this month

The “very engaging” (Chortle), “instantly likeable comic” (The Arts Desk) and “biscuit-lover” (herself) brings her 5*, award-winning debut show to London for one night only as part of her upcoming tour. Atkinson’s Northern affability and witty turns of phrase have won her comparisons to the late, great Victoria Wood, but there’s an almost academic edge to her comedy that marks her out as a true individual. Mates is a celebration of friendship, a cathartic outlet for the platonic break-ups of the past, and an appeal to treasure those mates that have stuck around – even the ones who let their kebabs leak all over your glovebox.

Dinner before: What do you know, you’re right next to the delightful Brasserie Zédel
Drinks after: And while you’re there, you can drop into Bar Américain, too.
Details: Louise Atkinson: Mates is on at the Crazy Coqs (nearest tube Piccadilly Circus) on 6th March. Tickets cost £15 and can be booked HERE.

Vittorio Angelone: ‘Who Do You Think You Are? I Am!’ | Leicester Square Theatre

Vittorio Angelone is something of a sell-out, in the sense that he tends to sell out every show that he plays. And also that he shamelessly moved on from his humble roots to the bright lights of Leicester Square the moment he started doing that. Here, he’s looking inwards and indulging in a little introspection, which given that he’s half Irish, half Italian, leads to some rather interesting places. Check him out on the tik toks or the you tubes and you’ll probably contribute to his selling out too.

Dinner before: Irish grub at The Devonshire
Drinks after: Italian cocktails at Bar Lina
Details: Olga Koch: Vittorio Angelone: ‘Who Do You Think You Are? I Am!’ Is playing at the Leicester Square Theatre between 7th March & 3rd May. Tickets coast £20 and you can get them right HERE.

Hackney Comedy Experience with Gus Khan | EartH

Guz Khan, the comedian who hails “from the notoriously gangster city that is Coventry” and who has blessed our screens with Man Like Mobeen & Taskmaster, is hosting a night of serious stand up talent. Taking the stage at Hackney’s EartH, he’ll be marshalling the likes of Sophie Duker, Jacob Hawley, Sukh Ojla, Jordan Gray, and Priya Hall.

Dinner before: Top-tier tacos at Del74
Drinks after: Frozen Mars at Voodoo Ray’s
Details: The Hackney Comedy Experience with Gus Khan is showing at EartH on March 8th. Tickets cost £26 and you can get them right HERE.

Stand Up Sounds | Peckham Arches

stand up sounds comedy

Who doesn’t love a bit of shameless self-promotion? For London’s greatest and most modest city guide, The Nudge, is staging a day-long festival of comedy in honour of International Women’s Day next month. Providing the gags will be Lorna Rose Tree (voted number one to watch at Edinburgh Fringe); Kemah Bob (of ‘the listing below this one’ fame); Tamsyn Kelly (finalist in the BBC New Comedian of the Year Award); and Tatty Macleod (one of the Fringe’s rising stars according to the Evening Standard). And aside from the comedy there’s also going to be food from My Neighbours The Dumplings, Cazcabel tequila tastings, and live DJ sets…
Dinner before: The courgette & woodear mushroom potstickers are top class.
Drinks after: Spicy margaritas (you’ll get one on arrival, too)
Details: Stand Up Sounds takes place at Peckham Arches (nearest tube Peckham Rye) on 9th March. Tickets cost £40, or £30 for Nudge Members, and can be booked HERE. Not a Nudge Member yet? Start your free trial here.

Kemah Bob – Big WIP Energy | The Bill Murray

Houston’s wickedly funny comedian, former Guilty Feminist co-host and founder of the FOC It Up! Comedy Club is about to unleash her latest material in a glorious hour of solo stand-up. She’s already supported the likes of Hannah Gadsby, Nish Kumar, and Desiree Burch on tour, so consider this a golden opportunity to catch her in an intimate, casual setting ahead of her debut stand-up show at the Fringe this summer, when she’ll inevitably go stratospheric.

Dinner before: Tongue-tingling Chinese dishes at Tofu Vegan
Drinks after: Grab a glass at Humble Grape
Details: Kemah Bob: Big WIP Energy is on at The Bill Murray (nearest tube Angel) on 11th March. Tickets cost £8.50 and can be booked HERE.

Puddles Pity Party | Soho Theatre

puddles pity party comedy show

Emily Butler

Sure, being in a room with a 7ft grease-painted clown sounds like many people’s idea of abject hell. But we strongly urge you to attend Puddles’ Pity Party, a 90 minute, five-star jukebox show of mime and unexpected pop & rock covers in his powerful, mellifluous baritone. Without words, he manages to convey the full spectrum of human emotion and never fails to draw the whole audience together in a feat of what genuinely feels like magic. His set changes nightly, so it’s not unheard of for fans to book out multiple shows – get in there while you can.

Dinner before: Acclaimed hole-in-the-wall Iranian at Berenjak
Drinks after: Belt out your own power ballads at Lucky Voice
Details: Puddles Pity Party is on at Soho Theatre (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road) from 11th – 16th March. Tickets cost £18 and can be booked HERE.

The AI Improv Show | The Bill Murray

AI has made significant advancements in language processing, but writing good comedy presents unique challenges. Comedy relies on nuanced cultural references, timing, and understanding of human emotions, which can be difficult for AI to replicate accurately. At least, that’s what AI has to say for itself on the matter. But in this AI-fuelled improv show, a dozen very funny and entirely human people are going to see what happens anyway…

Dinner before: Organic pub grub at The Duke of Cambridge
Drinks after: Discuss whether AI is coming to take all our jobs over a pint at The Old Queen’s Head
Details: The AI Improv Show is on at the Bill Murray (nearest tube Angel) on 24th March. Tickets cost £8.50 and can be booked HERE.

Pierre Novellie: Why Are You Laughing? | Soho Theatre

It’s rare that a heckle turns out to be prophetic. But during a show in 2022, Pierre Novellie was – as it turns out, entirely correctly – diagnosed by an audience member as having autism. The following summer he returned to the Fringe with Why Are You Laughing?, which won rave reviews (as always) and brought down the house. Filtering his observational comedy through the new lens of neurodivergence, the set takes in everything from D&D to his Huguenot ancestry, via the Iranian barbershop at the end of his road. It’s unconventional, brilliant, and simply very, very funny.

Dinner before: Dumplings of dreams at Leong’s Legend
Drinks after: Subterranean cocktails at Swift
Details: Pierre Novellie: Why Are You Laughing? runs at Soho Theatre (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road) from 26th March – 6th April. Tickets cost £17, and can be booked HERE.

 


THE BEST REGULAR COMEDY CLUB SHOWS

The Comedy Store Players | The Comedy Store

comedy store players

The Comedy Store Players is a London institution so long-running and baked into the fabric of the city that one almost forgets about it – a bit like the Tower of London’s Ceremony of the Keys (only slightly less ridiculous). The Players have been doing improv since long before it was, well, if not ’cool’, then ’ubiquitous’, and they are genuine comedy legends; among their number are Josie Lawrence, a member of the original Whose Line Is It Anyway cast, superlative character-comedian and Showstopper mainstay Pippa Evans, and acclaimed comic writer-performer David Reed of The Penny Dreadfuls. If you’re planning on ‘yes and’-ing your way to a reliable night of unscripted comedy in the heart of central London, you could scarcely do better.

Dinner before: Chicken, chicken and more chicken at FOWL
Drinks after: Guinness at The Devonshire
Details: The Comedy Store Players play at the Comedy Store (nearest tube stations Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus) every Sunday. Tickets are from £22 (concessions £17, students £12) and are available HERE.

The Blackout | Up The Creek Comedy Club

the blackout | the best london comedy

From its raucous beginnings, when it was launched by the legendary/infamous Malcolm Hardee (those of a strong constitution can Google ‘Maclolm Hardee + firework + buttocks’ to read about his trademark act), Up The Creek has evolved to become a jewel in the crown of South London’s stand-up scene, and one of the most beloved comedy clubs in the capital. Head to one of the weekend shows and you’ll find headliners galore – Mo Gilligan is a frequent performer, and circuit legends including Slim and Rudi Lickwood are regulars – but for a taste of the next generation of comic talent head along to The Blackout; 15 up-and-coming comedians, each attempting to get through five minutes. It’s UTC’s version of the gong show, it’s an adrenaline-filled evening, and at under a tenner a ticket (£3.50 for students!) it’s one of the best-value nights out there is.

Dinner before: Head to one of London’s staple pie joints, Goddard’s
Drinks after: A couple of pints at one of the best Greenwich pubs
Details: ‘The Blackout’ is on at Up The Creek Comedy Club (nearest stations Cutty Sark and Greenwich) every Thursday. Tickets start at £8.80 (£3.50 for students) and available HERE.

Banana Cabaret | The Bedford

A stalwart of Balham’s nightlife, Banana Cabaret offers a bunch of top tier acts in a hugely a-peel-ing (boooo) environment. The Bedford has a unique performance space that is beautifully suited to live comedy, and for a night of relaxed stand-up with a drink and dinner, there are few more dependable options. A highlight this month is the 12th  which offers a bill including wild-haired master of the one-liner Milton Jones, Best Newcomer-nominated Imran Yusuf, and phenomenally-likeable Romaniain comic Radu Isac. You’d be bananas not to.

Dinner before: Gurkha’s Diner is a Nepalese gem
Drinks after: henny’s for a glass of something nice  
Details: ‘Banana Cabaret’ is on at The Bedford (nearest station Balham) every Friday & Saturday in March except the 16th. Tickets are £17 and available HERE.

Always Be Comedy | The Tommyfield

Is there a better-loved MC in the business than James Gill? Is there a more lovingly-curated comedy club in the world than Always Be Comedy? Thousands of audience members – and, for that matter, thousands of comedians – would argue that the answer to both questions is a resounding and triumphant no. From its longtime home above the Tommyfield pub in Kennington, ABC hosts some of the very best mixed bill nights, Edinburgh previews, to a raucous but loving audience of regulars. In short, it’s everything a comedy club should be.

In March, you can catch the likes of Sophie Duker, Isy Suttie, Iain Stirling and Maisie Adam.

Dinner before: Pizza goodness at Theo’s Pizzeria
Drinks after: A spot of jazz at Cable Café Bar
Details: Always Be Comedy runs at the Tommyfield (nearest station Kennington) Tuesday – Friday. Tickets are £10.50 and available HERE.

Live at the Chapel | Union Chapel

Live At The Chapel | the best london comedy

A monthly fixture for those who are religious about their comedy. Union Chapel is a stunning venue, and the lineups at this iconic night are equally impressive. This month, the headliner is the ‘hairy Enya’ himself, David O’Doherty, accompanied by a stellar line-up including Bridget Christie, Fatiha El-Ghorri, Rhys James and Chloe Petts. Your comedy prayers have been answered.

Dinner before: Fresh, hand-rolled pasta at Trullo
Drinks after: Lively wines at Yield N1
Details: ‘Live at the Chapel’ is next on at Union Chapel (nearest station Highbury & Islington) on Saturday 2nd March 2024. Tickets are £27.50 and available HERE.

Knock2Bag Comedy Night | The Moth Club

Oddly-named, immaculately-curated – for some time now, Knock2Bag has offered some of the most exciting mixed-bill comedy lineups in London, inevitably jam-packed with a gorgeous combination of established headliners and buzzy newcomers. It’s probably the coolest comedy night in London, and at its home in Hackney’s legendary MOTH Club K2B now serves up a weekly box of delights. Drop by on March 7th for a mixed-bill line-up featuring BAFTA-winner Michael Odewale and Bob Fossil, a.k.a. Rich Fulcher.

Dinner before: Fun & flavoursome Chinese at Lucky & Joy
Drinks after: Head to the cult wine bar, 107 Wine Shop & Bar (formerly P. Franco)
Details: Knock2Bag Comedy Night is at MOTH Club (nearest station Hackney Central) on 7th March 2024. Tickets are £16.83 and can be booked HERE.

Angel Comedy | The Camden Head

Top quality comedy, seven nights a week, completely free. Angels by name, Angels by nature – their ‘RAW’ free comedy night at the Camden Head is one of the capital’s most precious comedy resources, with a weeknight gig offering new acts the chance to perform in a warm and positive environment, frequently alongside some comic heavyweights. All-star drop-ins are frequent, the atmosphere is celebratory, the room is always full yet it’s somehow just about possible to squeeze in if you want to. Angel Comedy is pure heaven.

Dinner before: Farm-to-table cooking at The Pig & Butcher
Drinks after: Exquisite and experimental cocktails at 69 Colebrooke Row
Details: Angel Comedy runs free nights at the Camden Head (nearest tube station Angel) every night. Arrive early to ensure you gain entry (30-60 mins before the start time) – once it’s full, it’s full.

 

BEG, BORROW OR STEAL

  • A Show Called Thursday (7th March, £9.95) – The majestic Jazz Emu fronts this new comedy night at The Victoria, accompanied by a glorious line-up including Kemah Bob, Luke Rollason and the award-winning drag king Häns Off.

Want all of this without the comedy nonsense? Check out our guide to London’s best theatre shows