Whenever we visit comedy producer Invisible Dot’s website we’re struck by the quality and inventiveness – and, more often than not, value – of the shows on offer. What we also tend to notice is how fast these shows sell out, so rather than telling you about them piecemeal, we thought it’d be easier to flag up the whole thing and then leave it up to you to keep tabs on them.
Over the next couple of months you can see Claudia O’Doherty, Kevin Eldon, Nick Mohammed, Alex Horne and Stewart Lee (except you can’t, he’s sold out). Regular visitors include Tim Key and Simon Amstell, who have both done work in progress shows at Invisible Dot’s Kings Cross venue recently. They’ve also got good links with acts like Adam Riches, Sheeps, Daniel Simonsen and Tony Law. Basically, some of the funniest, quirkiest, leftfield comedians around.
Invisible Dot started in 2009 in a converted stable in Camden Market, creating a performance space by pushing desks to one side and sweeping up. This DIY effort was only ever going to get them so far, so they moved to a dedicated venue in Kings Cross at the end of 2012. But this isn’t a fringe venue for hire. You might see a night with a varied line-up that’s been programmed, a solo show from an act that Invisible Dot are promoting or someone who’s previously worked with them, but all will have the Invisible Dot stamp of approval.
The idea is to present off-kilter, interesting, thought provoking comedy. Many comedy nights have settled into a rhythm of 10 minute segments interspersed with heavy drinking, and a compere struggling to keep the crowd engaged (which is odd when they’ve paid to be there). Invisible Dot prefer to offer a new act half an hour; to give long form, high concept comedy a proper opportunity to shine rather than a five minute baptism of fire.
There’s a great mix of shows at a range of budgets, too. Try the free shows (‘book’ ahead though) or the pre-Edinburgh two previews for a fiver (coming up: Colin Hoult, Alex Horne, Daniel Simonsen, Claudia O’Doherty) and the New Wave shows, featuring a line-up of handpicked up-and-coming/flying just under the radar acts for £8. For more established acts, expect to pay a tenner for three comedians on a Saturday night or the even bigger gigs at the Union Chapel in Islington for £18.
We also like that they’ve recently starting expanding into other types of night, including Will Andrews and guests screening short films, TV clips and archive footage, and a spoken word night hosted by Liam Williams of Sheeps and featuring some of the best poets and writers around (hint: Peep Show’s Jesse Armstrong makes an appearance 20 June). If you like intelligent performers, we can’t think of anywhere better to go.
Find the Invisible Dot venue at 2 Northdown Street, N1. Keep an eye on the website or sign up for the newsletter to keep up with what’s on.