British comedy is some of the most celebrated and eccentric to ever hit the global stage. From the unprecedented success of Monty Python to some of the world’s most famous comedic faces – Charlie Chaplin, Rowan Atkinson, Steven Fry, Hugh Laurie, Ricky Gervais – the UK’s funny bone has become a staple of our cultural exports. Often bizarre, sometimes outrageous, and always surprising, British comedy is our carefully-practiced antidote to overcast days and rainy winters.
As you might expect, London is at the very center of the UK’s comedy scene. The capital plays host to some of the most highly-rated venues in the world, with thousands of the planet’s top acts stepping onto the stage every year. Aside from the largest stadium acts and big names, our theatres are also a breeding ground for unique and innovative performances. From simple stand up through to comedic theatre, improvisation, the Avante Garde and even stranger, London can give you whatever you need to get your laugh on.
Let’s explore the very best of London’s comedy scene.
Leicester Square Theatre
If you’re looking for the biggest names in comedy Leicester Square Theatre is the place to be. Just a quick look at their calendar and you’ll find listings like Michael McIntyre, Jason Byrne, Stewart Lee, and Omid Djalili – some of comedy’s biggest names. And that’s just today! For the real comedy fanatics amongst you, we can’t recommend enough LST’s Museum of Comedy. See Tommy Cooper’s famous fez, Bill Bailey’s six-necked guitar, and the dummies from Splitting Image.
The Comedy Store
Arguably London’s most important comedy venue, the Comedy Store is the city’s oldest and a grand convergence of up-and-coming talent. Big names such as Paul Merton, Jack Whitehall, John Bishop, Eddie Izzard, Ed Byrne, and Jack Dee also frequently grace the stage to test out new material and warm up for their stadium gigs. Their calendar always has the perfect blend of crowd-pleasing favorites and new, exciting acts. If you only visit one venue, make it this one.
The Soho Comedy Club
Located in the very center of London’s prestigious fashion and theatre district, the Soho Comedy Club is rated as one of the greats. Whilst you won’t see as many big names on the listings, SCC has a fantastic range of up-and-coming artists with fantastic value for money.
Up The Creek, Greenwich
Up The Creek is, without a doubt, one of the most charming venues in the city. If you’re looking for a complete and scintillating comedy experience, this is the place for you. From it’s eye-catching blue exterior to traditional curtained stage, every inch of this little theatre drips fun and laughter. With a mixture of classic stand up, improv, and interactive comedy, it’s a great place to try out new things and get a unique audience experience. Highly recommended!
The Old Vic Theatre
This one is a bit of a wildcard. Much more than just a comedy venue, The Old Vic hosts a huge range of performance art, from drama through to experimental theatre. You never know quite what you’re going to get when you explore the listings at this prestigious entertainment space. But the best way to find out is to just dive in!
If you’re hoping to catch a hilarious show on your visit to London, take a look at our London Theatre Tickets page. Hint: the Book of Mormon is a riot!