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UK comedy
clubs

 

No one does comedy like the British. Switch on your TV any night of the week and you’ll find a humorous panel show, a light-hearted sitcom or a black comedy to lift your spirits. But there’s absolutely nothing like watching comics doing their thing live on stage; throwing out majestic put-downs to well-oiled hecklers, and feeding off the buzz of the crowd.

Have you ever curled up with a Friday night takeaway, watching your favourite comedian on TV, and dreamt of seeing them live? Or do you love finding an unknown act but you don’t know where to look? Sometimes life gets so busy that we don’t have time to keep up with local events. Before we know it, the tickets are sold out and the moment is gone. That’s where a holiday comes in. Take a break in one of the UK’s vibrant cities and you’ll find comedy performances from world-renowned names to the up-and-comers. And even better, we’ve done the research for you.

 

Our guide to the nation’s best laughs

 

Our guide to the UK’s best comedy clubs covers everything from tiny basements and sticky-floor pubs to sweeping theatre stages. Whether you’re hoping to see big-name comedians or you’re looking for cheap laughs at an open mic, you’ll find it on our list of the top live comedy nights in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. So on your next break, why not treat yourself to a good laugh? 

The highest-rated comedy clubs 

 

 

England

Downstairs at the King’s Head 

Location: London

 

London can be a deceptive little thing. While theatreland throngs with comedy gems in the heart of Soho, Covent Garden and even up to Camden, it’s the smaller neighbourhoods that true comedy fans should be keeping their eyes on. The team at Downstairs at the King’s Head are renowned for drawing in the big names to the intimate 100-seater space. From Lee Mack to Sara Pascoe, this small but mighty club offers some of the best stand-up comedy in the city. 

 

Address: 2 Crouch End Hill, London N8 8AA

When: Thursdays and Saturdays

Price: £5-£17

 

Up the Creek

Location: London

 

Good beer, great atmosphere and even better jokes. You can’t really ask for more than that at a decent comedy club, and Up the Creek provides it all and more. Their Sunday Special often pulls in the best headliners, with Marcus Brigstoke due to perform in July, rounding off your weekend with top quality comedians in an atmospheric spot. 

 

Address: 302 Creek Rd, Greenwich SE10 9SW

When: Thursday to Sunday

Price: £7-£15

 

Hall for Cornwall

Location: Truro, Cornwall

 

Truro’s Hall for Cornwall is not just the county’s largest cultural and artistic venue; it is also a social enterprise that collaborates with schools and the community to make sure that great art is accessible to everyone. Playing host to comedians from Paul Merton to Sandi Toksvig, there is no small amount of talent passing through Hall’s doors. A Cornish break with a twist could be just around the corner.  

 

Address: Back Quay, Truro TR1 2LL

When: Sporadically throughout the year

Price: £26

 

Comedy Hall

Location: Tiverton, Devon

 

Offering pure, unadulterated stand-up at stand-out prices, mid-Devon’s Comedy Hall is one of the county’s best night’s out. Watch comedians like Dom Joly and Mark Watson perfect their touring shows for a discerning crowd of comedy lovers. 

 

Address: TCAT (Tiverton Community Arts Theatre), Tiverton High School, Bolham Road, Tiverton EX166SQ

When: Once or twice a month

Price: £12-£20

 

Brewery Arts, Kendal

Location: Kendal, Lake District

 

Brewery Arts, Kendal blends the holy trinity of nights out; beer, pizza and good laughs. The venue hosts a range of touring names, from Tom Allen to Jason Byrne. After dragging yourself up the fells of the Lake District in the day, the Brewery Arts, Kendal provides the perfect way to unwind.

 

Address: 122A Highgate, Kendal LA9 4HE

When: See website for programme

Price: £12-£21

 

Jaggers Comedy Club

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

Jaggers Comedy Club

First-class fringe comedians play at Jaggers every Saturday night, in front of a lively Bournemouth crowd of hecklers. Their events are known to sell out, and with no tickets available on the door you’d be wise to book in advance. To make a night of it, pre-order dinner and dine in advance of the show. 

 

Address: Cameo, 60 Fir Vale Rd, Bournemouth BH1 2JA

When: Every Saturday night

Price: £25

 

York Barbican Centre

Location: York

 

York Barbican Centre is home to Yorkshire’s Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, who put on near-monthly stand-up events, inviting TV comedians from shows such as Mock the Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Comedy Store. Selling out to a take-no-prisoners Yorkshire audience, the likes of Jason Manford and Sarah Millican have been previous acts. Aside from the regular LOL Comedy Club night, the Barbican also hosts some of the UK’s best touring acts, from Romesh Ranganathan to Sarah Pascoe.

 

"We do tend to regularly host most popular comedians like Romesh, Jason Manford, Katherine Ryan and Sarah Millican, so for anyone who loves live comedy they’ll definitely find something to like at York Barbican!" Jack Dunkerley, Marketing Manager at York Barbican 

 

Address: York Barbican, Paragon St, Tang Hall, York YO10 4AH

When: Several times a month

Price: £15-£23

 

Skipton Comedy Live

Location: Yorkshire

 

Skipton Comedy Live is just about the biggest comedy night in the Yorkshire Dales, so if you’re looking for countryside in the day with nights out in the evening, look no further. Bringing together stand-up acts from around the UK, this comedy night is packed with punchy punchlines, all introduced by an MC who may well pick on the unsuspecting audience member in the front row. 

 

Address: Skipton Town Hall,  High St, Skipton BD23 1AH

When: Monthly

Price: £10

 

The Stand

Location: Newcastle

 

The latest opening by the cult comedy aficionados at The Stand (read on for our entry on the original Edinburgh branch), this Newcastle comedy night is the North East’s most consistent club night. Their big Saturday show is guaranteed good laughs, with a mixed four-act lineup, but their eclectic programme of shows pulls in all sorts. From comedy pub quizzes and Harry Potter parodies to local Newcastle improv group The Suggestibles and a monthly beginners open mic night, The Stand has something for everyone.

 

Address: 31 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EW

When: Every Wednesday to Saturday

Price: £5-£15

 

 

Scotland

Monkey Barrel Comedy

Location: Edinburgh

 

In a city that is packed to the rafters with funny people, choosing the best venues is a tough ask. Monkey Barrel Comedy has won all sorts of awards and has got to be up there with their support for new acts, its regular ‘big Saturday show’ and its role at the heart of the Edinburgh Fringe. Regular acts from normally Scottish locals to tour shows and specials from some of the UK's finest acts. Get there early for drinks, pizza and a round of crazy golf in their upstairs bar.

 

Address: 9-12 Blair St, Edinburgh EH1 1QR

When: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Price: - The 'Big Show' is on Fri/Sat/Sun (tickets £8-£15), Wednesday's 'Top Banana' - our new act / new material night (from £3), Thursday's 'Sneak Peek' - our pro new material night (from £5)

 

 

 

 

The Comedy Attic

Location: Edinburgh

 

At Edinburgh’s original late-night comedy club, the laughs run well into the wee hours. Each night follows the same formula - an MC to kick off proceedings, followed by three up-and-coming comics both local and international. And as The Comedy Attic is just around the corner from the Scotch Whisky Experience, as well as some of Edinburgh’s top pubs, the audience is guaranteed to be lively. This is a one-time opportunity to see comedians testing their skills against one of the Grassmarket’s toughest crowds.

 

"When August hits we are a home for the Scottish Comedy Festival during the Edinburgh Fringe. This year is our 10th year." Rick Molland, The Comedy Attic

 

Address: 18-20 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Tuesdays

Price: £3.50 on Tuesday, £9 on Friday and Saturday, 

 

The Ironworks

Location: Inverness

 

While Edinburgh usually corners the market in Scottish comedy prowess, The Ironworks is coming up strong with their eclectic portfolio of comedy acts. Set in a small, unassuming music venue, the club has a surprisingly hard-hitting line-up, with Ardal O’Hanlon, Reginald D. Hunter and Dylan Moran all set to perform this year. 

 

Address: 122B Academy St, Inverness IV1 1LX

When: Sporadically throughout the year

Price: £30

 

 

Wales

Maesteg Town Hall

Location: Glamorgan

 

A town hall built in 1881 isn’t necessarily the most natural fit for a comedy gig, but Maesteg Town Hall has developed a name for itself as an innovative cultural hub. Previous board-treaders include household names such as Russell Kane, Paul Sinha and Rob Beckett. The Town Hall is no stranger to famous faces though; Arnold Schwarzenneger once attended the Mr Wales Contest here in the 1960s, while a young Richard Burton won a recitation competition on this very stage. 

 

Address: 27 Talbot St, Maesteg CF34 9DA

When: Currently closed for renovation, due to reopen in Summer 2022

Price: £7-£15

 

Rhyl Pavilion

Location: Denbighshire

 

While Wales doesn’t have a plethora of down and dirty comedy clubs to choose from, it still gets its fair share of top name comics at big venues like the Rhyl Pavilion. Here, the likes of Bill Bailey and Jason Manford come to entertain the crowds. This beautiful, modern theatre has an awesome location looking right over Rhyl Beach; perfect for your next coastal staycation.

 

Address: E Parade, Rhyl LL18 3AQ

When: Sporadically throughout the year

Price: £40

 

 

Ireland

Monday Night Comedy Club

Location: Belfast

 

Monday Night Comedy at the Pavilion is renowned for its inclusive crowd and diverse comedy line-up. For the bargainous price of £4, you’ll get six comedians all striving to crack you up within their 10-minute time-slot. For newcomers with fresh material, it’s a pretty unbeatable experience, and as a punter, you’ll get to see newbies breaking their teeth for the first time. 

 

Address: 296-298 Ormeau Road Middle floor, Belfast BT7 2GB 

When: Mondays

Price: £4

 

The Black Box 

Location: Belfast

 

The Irish wit is in evidence here in The Black Box, one of the coolest comedy haunts in Belfast. The theatre is a multi-arts venue, with music, original theatre performances, cabaret and more all on offer each weekend. The stand-up is original and unique, with aspiring Irish comedians topping the bill. Deirdre O’Kane, a local face and the voice of Gogglebox Ireland, is on the billing later this year.

 

Address: 18-22 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA

When: Sporadic dates throughout the year

Price: £5-£15

 

 

The most famous comedy clubs 

 

 

England

The Comedy Store 

Location: London

The Comedy Store

Proving that popularity isn’t necessarily a slippery slope to mediocrity, The Comedy Store is the place to go for consistently laugh-out-loud nights out. Their weekend comedy line-up has the most diverse range of comics each night of any big club in London. The legendary Comedy Store Players display their absolute mastery of improv every Sunday, while the King Gong night on the last Monday of the month showcases the best in new acts.

 

“We do regular shows every Thursday to Sunday then selected Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays we do charity shows, tour shows, one-man shows and other specials. King Gong is still the last Monday of every month.” Loki, General Manager at The Comedy Store 

 

Address: 1a Oxendon St, London, SW1Y 4EE

When: Regular shows every Thursday to Sunday

Price: £10-£25

 

The Bill Murray (run by Angel Comedy) 

Location: London

 

Four friends buy a comedy club. If it’s not clear from the name or indeed the wall-sized paintings of famous comedians that line the outside of the pub, the four owners of The Bill Murray are fairly fanatical about comedy. As well as stand-up several times a week, the club supports new comedians with writing workshops and courses. 

 

The Bill Murray is owned by the team at Angel Comedy, and it is very much led by the community. In days gone past, they started out playing to the local crowd at the Kings Head in Camden, and still run their sell-out shows at the pub seven nights a week.

 

Address: The Bill Murray, 39 Queen’s Head Street, London N1 8NQ

When: Thursday to Sunday

Price: £3-£10

 

The Top Secret Comedy Club 

Location: London

The Top Secret Comedy Club

“Is the name ironic? Whichever way you spin it, The Top Secret Comedy Club isn’t so secret anymore. Perhaps it’s because they keep producing killer lineups, day after day, using the best acts from the UK comedy circuit. Having played host to such names as Katherine Ryan, Romesh Ranganathan, Aziz Ansari… the list goes on. From inauspicious beginnings in a community centre at the heart of Covent Garden, the club has gone from strength to strength and has become one of the highest-rated comedy clubs in the UK.” Mark, The Top Secret Comedy Club

 

Address: 170 Drury Ln, London WC2B 5PD

When: Every night and also afternoons at weekends.

Price: Free - £20

 

Komedia 

Location: Brighton

Image credit: Kaleido Shoots

 

A feast of comedy, live music, club nights, cabaret and kid’s shows, Komedia is well-known on the Brighton comedy scene for its eclectic range of acts and forgiving (but rowdy) audiences. From women-only comedy nights, LGBTQIA+ billings and even BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby) events, Komedia is always pushing the boundaries of comedy, supporting an inclusive and diverse set of comics from every genre. Phil Wang and Sara Barron are just two of the recent headliners and it’s also won the Chortle Award for 'Best Venue in the South' a record 17 times. 

 

If you want a good laugh, “our main show 'Komedia Comedy Club' is every Friday and Saturday.” Kelly Edwards-Good, Komedia Press Officer

 

Address: 44-47 Gardner St, Brighton BN1 1UN

When: Open every day 

Price: £7 - £29

 

Coastal Comedy Club 

Location: Poole

Coastal Comedy Club

Coastal Comedy is a regular stand-up comedy show of live entertainment for over 18's in Dorset. A small independent business, it offers a unique experience by bringing famous faces to their intimate venues in Bournemouth and Poole, as well as big names to the large theatre at the lighthouse in Poole at their Coastal Comedy Colossal shows.

 

Coastal Comedy shows offer a great chance to see a famous face close up and personal in a superb setting, bringing the very best stand up comics on the circuit together for a fantastic lineup. Acts that have graced their stage include: Rosie Jones, Lee Nelson, Lost Voice Guy, Gary Gelaney, Jo Caulfield, Zoe Lyons, Angela Barnes, Jarred Christmas, Joel Dommett, Ed Gamble - just to name a few. 

 

Adrienne Coles, CEO for Coastal Comedy said: "I love everything about comedy from performing to greeting the public and booking all the acts and the backstage banter we have. It’s very fulfilling for me to see a room full of people laughing at what I have put together."

 

Address: Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts, 21 Kingland Rd, Poole BH15 1UG

When: Saturday nights

Price: £12-£20

 

 

Scotland

The Glee Club 

Location: Glasgow

 

The Glee Club’s newest venue is this little Glasgow joint, only opening in 2019 before the pandemic swiftly shut its doors. But with the famous name of Glee behind it, the club’s bounceback is inevitable. They have a magic line-up in place throughout the spring and summer, with live stand-up every weekend. Glasgow is swiftly becoming a city break destination to be reckoned with, with venues like The Glee Club drawing in crowds eager for a laugh and a good night out.

 

Address: 11 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3AB

When: Friday to Saturday

Price: £10-£12

 

Pleasance Theatre 

Location: Edinburgh

 

Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Pleasance Theatre is an absolute stalwart of the annual Fringe, and renowned in the festival’s funny circles for its consistently high calibre acts, and its willingness to push the boat out. The cabaret bar not only hosts regular comedy nights, but live music, theatre and other events are also a major feature. “During peak festival time, the surrounding courtyard becomes one of the biggest beer gardens in the city, and the atmosphere is electric from day to night.” Emma, Pleasance Theatre

 

Address: Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ

When: Every night in August

Price: £7-£16

 

Gilded Balloon 

Location: Edinburgh

Gilded Balloon

OK, so the Gilded Balloon is a little bit of a cheat entry into our guide, but well worth the airtime. As one of Scotland’s biggest and best comedy production companies, they arrange some of the key nights out at the Edinburgh Fringe. If you’re planning to coincide a city break with the festival, these guys are the ones to watch. Michael McIlroy, Marketing Manager at Gilded Ballons, says you can “find them at their three main venue hubs: The Gilded Balloon Teviot, Gilded Balloon at the Museum, and Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose.”

 

Their ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ competition aims to find the best and brightest rising comedy stars each year. They’ve never failed; previous winners include Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Hannah Gadsby and Sarah Millican. Outside of the Fringe, find them at their regular monthly comedy night, Leith Social, at Edinburgh’s Pitt Market. 

 

Address: Various locations during the Fringe. Outside of that: The Pitt Market 125-137 Pitt St, Edinburgh EH6 4DE

When: Every night during the Fringe Festival

Price: £5-£20

 

 

Wales

The Glee Club 

Location: Cardiff

 

The Glee Club’s name is ubiquitous in the world of comedy. Starting out in Birmingham as the UK’s first dedicated comedy club outside London, the Cardiff branch was their second home. Mark Lamaar, at the time the host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, was in the opening night line-up, and since then the big names have never stopped. This multi-award winning venue won’t let you down, guaranteeing a good laugh throughout the week.

 

Address: Bay, Mermaid Quay, Unit 7a, Cardiff CF10 5BZ

When: Every night

Price: £10-£20

 

Machynlleth Comedy Festival 

Location: Powys

 

This one isn’t, strictly speaking, a comedy venue. But Machynlleth Comedy Festival has been making a name for itself for over 10 years now, putting comedy firmly on the map in this small town next to Snowdonia National Park. Every year on the May Day weekend, this beautiful market town fairly doubles in size, as comedy-seekers descend for the festival. 

 

It’s a great opportunity to see both up-and-comers and established acts, the likes of Nish Kumar and Sara Barron, trying out new material in preparation for the Edinburgh Fringe. And, with hundreds of shows to choose from, all within a 10-minute walk from each other, it’s a really easy festival to navigate. 

 

Address: Throughout Machynlleth

When: Every night over the first weekend in May

Price: £25

 

 

Ireland

 

Derry Millenium Forum

Location: Londonderry

 

While Northern Ireland’s traditional comedy clubs are typically found around the streets of Belfast, outside of the capital you’ll find large venues hosting some of the biggest touring names in the industry. Derry Millenium Forum is one such place, attracting sold-out performances for comics such as Joe Lycett, Alan Carr and Ireland’s own Dara O’Briain.

 

 Derry itself is a fantastic city for a weekend break, stuffed full of history and with beautiful riverside views. The notoriously erratic Northern Irish weather means that indoor activities are essential, making an evening of laughter pretty much a given!

 

Address: 3 Newmarket St, Londonderry BT48 6EB

When: Regular events throughout the year

Price: £20-£35

 

 

The oldest comedy clubs 

 

 

England

Frog and Bucket

Location: Manchester

 

As the first dedicated comedy club in Manchester, established in 1994, Frog and Bucket has a history of championing northern comics. Their manic open mic nights (Beat the Frog) have helped to launch the careers of comedians from Jason Manford to Sarah Millican. With a dash of surprise audience voting lending some unpredictability to proceedings, you could see a comedian’s career start and end on the same night. 

 

Address: 102 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LJ

When: Nightly

Price: £10-£20

 

Laughterhouse

Location: Liverpool

 

As the first dedicated comedy club in Manchester, established in 1994, Frog and Bucket has a history of championing northern comics. Their manic open mic nights (Beat the Frog) have helped to launch the careers of comedians from Jason Manford to Sarah Millican. With a dash of surprise audience voting lending some unpredictability to proceedings, you could see a comedian’s career start and end on the same night. 

 

Address: 102 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LJ

When: Nightly

Price: £10-£20

 

The Comedy Box

Location: Bristol

 

Bristol comedy promoters The Comedy Box have the honour of being one of the longest-running clubs outside of London, dating back to 1994. Mainly based out of the excellent Hen and Chicken pub (treat yourself to one of their stone-baked pizzas; you won’t regret it), the club prides itself on finding the best new talent in the South West. At just £5 a ticket, their monthly comedy night ‘Circuit Breakers’ packs in the laughs, with up-and-coming comedians vying for the best gags.

 

Address: Hen and Chicken, 210 North St, Southville, Bristol BS3 1JF

When: Several times a week. Check the promoter’s website for listings. 

Price: £5-£16

 

Last Laugh Comedy Clubs

Location: Sheffield

 

Managing shows in Sheffield, Barnsley, Penistone and Bakewell, Last Laugh Comedy Club has been putting on some of Yorkshire’s best comedy nights for nigh-on 30 years. With a compere and three professional comedians, you’re guaranteed a top-quality night out. All curated by Toby Foster from Phoenix Nights, the Memorial Hall in Sheffield offers a grand theatrical setting, while Bakewell’s Thornbridge Tap Room is a cosy brewery that gets you up close to the action. 

 

Address: Predominantly at Sheffield Memorial Hall, Barker's Pool, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2JA

When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Price: £11-£20

 

King’s Lynn Corn Exchange

Location: King’s Lynn

 

The gorgeous King’s Lynn Corn Exchange has a long history dating back to the Victorian era. Of course, as a comedy venue, it is relatively recent but the period features will add a wow factor to your night out. Their monthly comedy nights showcase four up-and-coming comedians from the touring circuit, and at the incredible price of £10, it’s a steal. As well as this regular gig, the venue hosts other comedians throughout the year; Paul Merton and his Improv chums are on the calendar for summer 2022.

 

Address: 102 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LJ

When: Nightly

Price: £10-£20

 

Dick and Liddy’s Comedy Club 

Location: Halifax

 

Dick and Liddy’s Comedy Club has been a staple of the Yorkshire comedy circuit for years, having seen early gigs from the likes of John Bishop, Alan Carr and Michael McIntyre back before they hit the big time. Making its home on the atmospheric Victorian stage of, ahem - the Victoria Theatre - Dick and Liddy’s is hugely popular with the local Halifax crowd, attracting only the best in up-and-coming comedians.

 

Address: The Victoria Theatre, 2 Fountain St, Halifax, HX1 1BP

When: Last Friday of the month

Price: From £12.75

 

 

Edinburgh

The Stand

Location: Edinburgh

 

If a club is known as somewhere comedians go to view comedy, you know it’s going to be good. The Stand is just that, benefitting from a cultish reputation for great laughs, in a setting that’s more like a casual pub than a formal theatre. With an inauspicious opening to just 7 people back in the early ‘90s, the Stand has transformed into an Edinburgh institution. You’ll be likely to see the TV comedians of tomorrow here, as reasonably established comics tread the boards in a bid to make it big.

 

Address: 5 York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EB

When: Every Friday to Saturday, plus some other weeknights 

Price: £5-£15

 

Edinburgh Playhouse

Location: Edinburgh

 

While predominantly a venue for musicals, plays and theatre productions, Edinburgh Playhouse also summons its fair share of big-name comedians. Rob Brydon, Katherine Ryan, Russell Howard and Bill Bailey are all due to perform in the coming months, their huge stage presence easily filling the seats of the sweeping auditorium. It’s fitting that the city of comedy should have such a grand venue to play with, with a history that dates back to the 1920s.

 

Address: 18-22 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3AA

When: Sporadically throughout the year

Price: £15-£40

 

 

Wales

Carmarthen Lyric

Location: Carmarthen

 

Offering a more slick and polished comedy experience, the Carmarthen Lyric, built in the glorious art deco days of the 1930s, is a traditional theatre that hosts big-name comedy acts from across the UK. Nish Kumar, Sarah Millican and Andy Parsons are just three of the most recent performers, who have entertained the Welsh public from its stage. Prices are very reasonable, giving you more food and drink money to spend in lovely Carmarthen.

 

Address: King St, Carmarthen SA31 1BD

When: Wednesday to Sunday

Price: £20

 

St David’s Hall

Location: Cardiff

 

If you’re interested in seeing the top names in comedy, St David’s Hall is Cardiff’s number one destination. Established in 1982, the club has grown in stature, hosting music, comedy and theatre from all genres. With a diversity of acts from Bianca del Rio’s drag comedy show to Paul Merton’s improv chums, and from sketch shows to one-man stand-ups, there is always something available when you just need a good laugh. Upcoming performers include Joe Lycett, Sandi Toksvig, Sarah Millican and Chris Ramsey. 

 

Address: The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1AH

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Price: £22-£33

 

 

Ireland

The Empire Laughs Back

Location: Belfast

The Empire Laughs Back

With over 30 years in the business, The Empire Laughs Back, at the Belfast Empire, marries up good Irish beer with good Irish craic and has mastered the art of both. Get a free pint of Harp lager with every ticket, and be entertained by an array of excellent MCs as well as top quality acts from across Ireland, the UK and the international comedy circuit. The space itself is full of history and atmosphere; the cherry on the top of a good night out.

 

“We are very proud of our 30 year history and how the comedy club has become an icon for both punters and comedians alike, a nurturing ground for many comics who have since become household names including; Sarah Millican, John Bishop, Kevin Bridges, Sean Lock and many, many more.” Jade, The Empire Laughs Back

 

Address: 42 Botanic Avenue The Belfast Empire Music Hall, Belfast BT7 1JQ Northern Ireland

When: Tuesday nights

Price: £12

 

The Sunflower Comedy Club 

Location: Belfast

 

If you’re looking for a proper Irish pub, of the type that puts touristy international ‘Irish’ pubs to shame, look no further than The Sunflower Comedy Club. Hosting live music every night, this is the spot to see Irish talent. While this is a pub rather than a typical comedy club, it hosts a monthly comedy night with ten comedians each attempting to raise the biggest laugh in just ten minutes. All that, and some of the best Irish craic to boot, for only a tenner. You can’t go wrong.

 

Address: 65 Union St, Belfast BT1 2JG

When: Once a month, usually the first Sunday. Check their Facebook page for listings.

Price: £10

 

 

The most unique comedy clubs

 

 

England

Comedy Club 4 Kids 

Location: Various locations around the UK (eg Brighton, Coventry, Edinburgh etc)

Comedy Club 4 Kids Logo

Comedy Club 4 Kids is a wonderful organisation that gives little ones the confidence to stand up and go for it. As well as running regular stand-up afternoons where comedians put on performances that are suited to a younger audience, they also run workshops to teach kids how to find life’s funny moments and lend a little humour to their storytelling. 

 

They are not tethered to one site, but “run shows in different venues and festivals across the UK” (Isabelle, Comedy 4 Clubs), from Coventry’s Assembly Gardens and Bedford Quarry to Edinburgh’s Assembly Roxy. They also have one-off shows in lots of other locations and create a regular podcast, suitably entitled Radio Nonsense. For an off-the-wall holiday activity for kids, this is up there with the best. And if you’re tempted but don’t have a holiday coming up, check out their fortnightly Saturday Zoom sessions.

 

Address: Several locations around the UK

When: Saturdays or Sundays, check the venue’s website

Price: £5-£12

 

The Boat Show Comedy Club

Location: London

 

Comedy on a boat? Yes, please. At the Tattershall Castle, you can get your kicks every weekend, with The Boat Show Comedy Club’s excellent line-ups. James Acaster, Dara O’Briain and Romesh Ranganathan are all previous performers. Just don’t say they’re pushing the boat out.

 

Address: Ps Tattershall Castle, Temple Station, Salsa! Temple, Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2PH

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Tuesdays

Price: £18 on weekends and £6 on Tuesdays

 

Comedy Brunch and Cocktails

Location: London

 

London loves a brunch, and the team at Comedy Brunch and Cocktails have created one of the best. Accompanied by never-ending fried chicken and fries, and washed down by an hour’s worth of rum cocktails, a set of comedians will entertain you in a well-curated comedy show. Once the comedy ends, party the afternoon away with live DJ’s and then go to bed at a respectable time.

 

Address: The Steel Yard, Allhallows Ln, London EC4R 3UE

When: The last Sunday of the month

Price: £15

 

Comedy Virgins

Location: London

 

Cavendish Arms

Image credit: Adrian at Swiss Chocolate Pictures

 

Do you prefer your comedy nights a little more interactive? The Comedy Virgins Show is the most overly supportive open mic night in the world - so be ready to shout, clap and cheer at the top of your voice .... whatever happens!!! 

 

Not for the faint-hearted, The Cavendish Arms, in South London’s Stockwell, runs one of the most famous open mic nights on the comedy circuit. 

 

The Comedy Virgins Show features both new and established acts testing out their material in a five-minute set, with the audience shouting "Buy em a drink " for their favourites who go through to a ‘clap off’ at the end to win the coveted Mini Gold Plastic Trophy.  Part brutal, part inspirational...whether you fancy performing yourself (pre-booking is necessary) or simply fancy watching a set of nerve-wracked newbies fail or fly, this is the night for you.

 

Address: The Cavendish Arms, 128 Hartington Rd, London SW8 2HJ

When: Every Monday at 7pm, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm and 9pm, and some Sunday afternoons!

Price: £5 (deposit, refunded as a bar tab)

 

Jericho Comedy Club (Jericho Tavern)

Location: Oxford

 

Performing at a variety of cafes, pubs, taverns and clubs across Oxford, the award-winning Jericho Comedy Club has built a strong reputation for itself as an eclectic night out. What’s more, they’re a comedy club with a conscience; their Saturday night shows are used as fundraisers for Mind, for whom they have raised over £70,000 to date. Don’t just go for the small glow of self-satisfaction, though. Go in the knowledge that you’ll be seeing a seriously funny organisation that pushes the comedic envelope to the full.

 

Address: Jericho Tavern, 56 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AE

When: Friday to Saturday

Price: £7-£10

 

Super Trooper Stand Up Comedy

Location: Leeds

 

A weekend break in Leeds is always guaranteed to be good fun. The city is positively bursting with brunch and lunch spots, great cocktail bars, craft breweries, top restaurants and some excellent cultural and art shows. For a top night out in the city, the monthly improv night run by Super Trooper Stand Up Comedy is belly laugh central. Every performance is different, throwing up new challenges for these improv masters. Even better? It’s completely free. 

 

Address: The Fenton Pub, 161-165 Woodhouse Ln., Woodhouse, Leeds LS2 3ED

When: Last Sunday of the month

Price: Free

 

 

Scotland

The Banshee Labyrinth

Location: Edinburgh

 

A guide to the UK’s most unique comedy clubs wouldn’t be complete without The Banshee Labyrinth, billed as Scotland’s most haunted pub. Tales of ghost sightings abound in the pub, with none more prevalent than the ‘banshee’ herself.

 

Legend has it that an unsuspecting workman who was renovating the building came across a gaunt lady, sobbing into her grey dress with sunken eyes and rotting features. She looked upon him with a shriek and moments later he received a call to say that a family member had passed away. With a wide range of drinks on offer and a fun, raucous atmosphere, it’s worth braving the ghost for a night out at The Banshee.

 

Address: 29-35 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG

When: Open every night with comedy on adhoc days

Price: Free

 

The Comedy Cabaret

Location: Glasgow

 

The Comedy Cabaret marries up the two worlds of raucous comedy and fine dining, to great effect. Based in Glasgow’s beautiful Rotunda building, it showcases top local Scottish names like Gary Little and Ross Leslie, together with the partner restaurants of Cranside Kitchen (Thursdays) and Halloumi Glasgow (Fridays and Saturdays), one of the city’s Mediterranean restaurants. Grab a delicious meal in the restaurant before heading downstairs to watch the show. 

 

Address: 28 Tunnel St, Glasgow G3 8HL

When: Thursday to Saturday

Price: Anything from £6 for a student to £32.50 with dinner

 

Enterteasement 

Location: Glasgow

 

Part burlesque, part magic, part comedy, Enterteasement offers a show with a difference. Opening the night with a bit of magic or psychological trickery, the show then moves onto a couple of burlesque acts to warm up the audience. After a few drinks, the lubricated crowd is introduced to the comedians - don’t be put off by the small auditorium though, the front row is usually safe in this welcoming club.

 

Address: 72 Waterloo Street, G27DA

When: First Saturday of the month

Price: £10-£15

 

 

Wales

The Small Space

Location: Cardiff

 

Stand up comedy clubs don’t get much quirkier than The Small Space in Barry, Cardiff. Measuring just 16 feet by 12 feet, the theatre still manages to seat 25 punters, making it the smallest theatre in the UK. You’ll be able to see the whites of each performer’s eyes from your vantage point, but don’t worry - after a few beers from the well-stocked bar, your heckles should take on a professional quality!

 

“Ticket price for comedy is from £5, the magic shows are £20 and the odd double bill full pre-Edinburgh comedy shows are £15.” Jasper, The Small Space

 

Address: 5 Island Rd, Barry CF62 7AR

When: Thursday to Saturday

Price: From £5-£20

 

Builth Wells Wyeside Arts Centre

Location: Cardiff

 

Builth Wells Wyeside Arts Centre is a little gem of a place, serving the community of Wyeside as a not-for-profit organisation. The Grade II listed building provides much more than a comedy venue for the people of mid-Wales; it’s a cultural hub and gathering place for young and old alike. Still, the funny is pretty decent too, with comedians such as Shazia Mirza and Mark Watson taking their place on the stage. 

 

Address: Castle St, Builth Wells LD2 3BN

When: Sporadically throughout the year

Price: £14-£20

 

 

Ireland

Monday Night Comedy Club

Location: Belfast

 

Monday Night Comedy at the Pavilion is renowned for its inclusive crowd and diverse comedy line-up. For the bargainous price of £4, you’ll get six comedians all striving to crack you up within their 10-minute time-slot. For newcomers with fresh material, it’s a pretty unbeatable experience, and as a punter, you’ll get to see newbies breaking their teeth for the first time. 

 

Address: 296-298 Ormeau Road Middle floor, Belfast BT7 2GB 

When: Mondays

Price: £4

 

The Black Box 

Location: Belfast

 

The Irish wit is in evidence here in The Black Box, one of the coolest comedy haunts in Belfast. The theatre is a multi-arts venue, with music, original theatre performances, cabaret and more all on offer each weekend. The stand-up is original and unique, with aspiring Irish comedians topping the bill. Deirdre O’Kane, a local face and the voice of Gogglebox Ireland, is on the billing later this year.

 

Address: 18-22 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA

When: Sporadic dates throughout the year

Price: £5-£15

 

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