Former City institution Throgmortons is briefly re-opening to host a festival of indie comedy in December.
Throgmortons used to be the flagship teashop of J Lyons & Co, before becoming a restaurant and then a (by all accounts rather sorry) pub. The decor is 'Edwardian gentlemen's club' and worth grabbing a ticket just to have a nosy around inside. Couple that with some excellent gigs — including Stewart Lee — and this makes for an excellent pre-Christmas treat. Just don't go with your office mates: pissed up Christmas parties and boorish bankers aren't welcome. People willing to laugh and scoff mince pies are.
The gigs? There's two weeks' worth to choose from, covering some of the best independent and alternative comedy this damn city has to offer. Tickets go on sale this Friday (14 November) for a charity fundraiser in aid of Shelter, with Stewart Lee, Josie Long, sketch group Pappy's and the first appearance by Simon Munnery's The League Against Tedium in years.
You can buy tickets for other shows now, like improv from Cariad Lloyd, Paul Foxcroft and Upstairs Downton, a choose your own adventure video game, 'chap hop' from gentleman rhymer Mr B and offbeat stand up and sketch with the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society. And of course there's a panto, though with a cast that includes (probably) Ben Target, John Kearns, Beth Vyse and Gareth Morinan, we expect something of higher quality than your usual double-entrendre-stuffed crap.
Heroes of Comedy runs 3-18 December at Throgmortons, 27c Throgmorton Street EC2. Tickets range from free-£12. For more information and to book, see the website.