Where To Watch Comedy This Summer

Where To Watch Comedy This Summer
Image by Union Chapel, Highbury.

Not going to make it to Edinburgh Fringe Fest this year? Never fear.

Some of our favourite festivals and venues are below, with our pick of this summer's shows.

Live at the Chapel, Highbury

Union Chapel. Image credit: Andrew Firth.

A Grade I listed building attracting some Grade A comics, Union Chapel's a working church, doubling as a live entertainment venue. Built in gothic revival style — stained glass, hydraulic-powered organ, vaulted ceiling, the works — it's one of the most atmospheric, grand-yet-also-intimate places you can catch a comedy set in London. Pull up a wooden pew for Live at the Chapel's regular mixed bills — this season's include headliners from Phil Wang, Sara Pascoe, and Nish Kumar.

Catch it if you can: Nish Kumar, Sophie Duker, and others, on 14 August, £20.

Live at the Chapel, at Union Chapel, Highbury. Regular gigs.

Canned Laughter, Regent's Park

Two starpacked shows, back to back — it's going to be hard to choose between the early show line up (with Rose Matafeo, Bridget Christie, Jen Brister, and others), and the late show (Kemah Bob, Ed Gamble, Darren Harriott, and others). They're for charity, to raise funds for The Trussell Trust's London food banks, so why not go all in for a marathon of lolz, and grab tickets for both.

Catch it if you can: The early show, with Rose Matafeo, Bridget Christie, and others, on 15 August, £25.

Canned Laughter, at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. 15 August.

The Camden Fringe, north London venues

The 15th year of The Camden Fringe includes programming at a host of north London venues, including the ever great comedy spots 2Northdown — see below — and The Bill Murray. This year's line up's a good mix of established comedians and relative newcomers, and the (mostly £10 or less) ticket prices, and Camden Fringe's curation, mean you can feel relaxed about taking a punt on unknown faces and WIPs.

Catch it if you can: Joe Thomas — Trying Not To Panic, at the Bill Murray, 22 to 26 August, £10.

The Camden Fringe, a range of north London venues. Until 29 August.

2 Northdown, King's Cross

Part of the Camden Fringe line up above, it's worth keeping a look out on the website for this tiny King's Cross venue throughout the year — the 100 seater room is a great spot to see very established comedians wanting to test out new material on a small audience.

Catch it if you can: Ahir Shah WIP — 16 to 17 August, £6.

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Battersea Arts Centre, Battersea

All of BAC's comedy programme this September is pay what you can — and it's quite a line up, with a lot of WIPs and group sketch comedy to check out, including Josie Long, and Nabil Abdulrashid.

Catch it if you can: Ivo Graham WIP — 22 September, pay what you can.

Knock2Bag, east London venues

Knock2Bag's comedy nights run across great venues — Dalston's MOTH Club, and Rich Mix in Shoreditch are the regular spots for now, with this season's line up including Jessie Cave, and Ed Aczel.

Catch it if you can: Mae Martin and friends, at the Moth Club, 9 September, £18.50.

Underbelly Festival, near Oxford Street

It's Underbelly, but not as you know it. The performing arts festival, which usually takes up residence next to the London Eye, has migrated to Cavendish Square near Oxford Street for this year. Expect the usual mix of live drag, comedy, cabaret and family shows, along with outdoor bars and street food.

Catch it if you can: Bernie Dieter's Berlin Underground, until 29 August, £20.

Underbelly Festival, at Cavendish Square. Until 26 September

Soho Theatre, Soho

Veterans of London's comedy scene, there's some great programming across their three performance spaces this summer, but Downstairs at Soho Theatre is, for us, The One: cabaret seating, dim lighting, and big name acts in a small space — including Frankie Boyle with a WIP, and Abandoman.

Catch it if you can: Diane Chorley — Modern Love, 23 to 28 August, £14.

Image by Soho Theatre, London.

Last Updated 12 August 2021