7 Places to find free stand-up comedy in London
By Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter @kellythekiwi)
I have been to some pretty cringe-worthy stand-up comedy nights while I have been in London – it’s one of those things that people either really love or really hate. Luckily, you can see some really great comedians for free any day of the week. Here are 7 of the best places to find free stand-up comedy in London.
#1 Top Secret Comedy Club | Covent Garden
One of London’s worst-kept secrets, the Top Secret Comedy Club has well-known comedians regularly dropping by to try out new material. Every Tuesday Shoot from the Hip brings their fantastic improv show here for FREE. Prices for other nights are really cheap too and with beer prices from £3.00 a pint this is a great, budget-friendly night out in London.
Where: 170 Drury Lane, WC2B 5PD
When: Every Tuesday, 8pm
#2 Comedy Café Theatre | Shoreditch
The Comedy Café Theatre has been holding a New Act Night for 25 years. This is a great opportunity for you to enjoy some up-and-coming stand-up comedians before they get too famous! It is a FREE event but book your tickets online to guarantee your spot.
Where: 68 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY
When: Every Wednesday, 8pm
#3 Angel Comedy | Islington
FREE comedy every night of the week! No, this is not a mistype… Angel Comedy brings you excellent free comedy every night at Camden Head. Monday is Improv night; on a Tuesday one of Angel Comedy’s favourites from the Edinburgh Festival will entertain you with a solo show; Wednesday is for the new comedians, or experienced acts wanting to try out new material; on a Thursday resident MC Barry Ferns brings you his favourite comedians from the UK comedy circuit; Friday and Saturday are the flagship nights and the nights that started it all… expect to be laughing yourself silly! Finally, Sunday night is a bit like Wednesday – see how comedians get started in the business. No matter which night you decide to attend, arrive early to avoid disappointment!
Where: The Camden Head, 2 Camden Walk, N1 8DY
When: Every night of the week, 8pm
#4 Comedy Virgins | Stockwell
Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Cavendish Arms plays home to the Comedy Virgins. Up to 20 amateur comedians perform a minute set and try to impress the crowd to win the hotly contested Comedy Virgin trophy. With the winner being chosen by audience shouts of ‘buy them a drink’ followed by the famous Comedy Virgin clap off, this is a fun way of getting into stand-up comedy.
Where: The Cavendish Arms, 128 Hartington Road, SW8 2HJ
When: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night, 8pm
#5 Sunday Shtick | Kentish Town
Once you’ve recovered from your weekly Sunday morning hangover why not finish the weekend off in hysterics by heading to Sunday Shtick at the Rose & Crown. This comedy open mic night brings together some of the best newbies on the circuit. And the best news… you can catch all the acts for FREE!
Where: The Rose & Crown, 71-73 Torriano Avenue, NW5 2SG
When: Every Sunday, 8pm
#6 Schadenfreude Presents – The Platypus Playpen | Kings Cross
Resident hosts Garrett Millerick, Chris Betts, Abigoliah Schamaun and Pierre Novellie bring together some of the best stand-up acts on the London circuit at the Platypus Playpen. Held at The Harrison, the night is a chance for these fine comedians to try out some new material and a chance for you to have a laugh (hopefully) for FREE. You may find a bucket going around at the end for you to put a donation in but this is voluntary!
Where: The Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, WC1H 8JF
When: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm
#7 The Comedy Grotto | Kings Cross
Whilst not strictly free, The Comedy Grotto is a pay-what-you-want comedy night at The Star of Kings. You don’t have to pay anything when the donation bucket comes round but the money does go to worthy causes (the Syrian Refugee Appeal at the moment). There is always a great line-up of comedians testing new material so it is definitely worth going along.
Where: The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, N1 0AX
When: Tuesday nights (check Facebook for dates), 7:45pm