It's September, and the all the comedians are trudging back en masse to London from Edinburgh (hang on, was there even an Edinburgh this year?). Anyway, here are 10 shows you should consider seeing this month.
1. Pay What You Can Comedy, at Battersea Arts Centre, all September
Let's start with something that isn't a show, but an entire month of 'em. The stunning Battersea Arts Centre is packed to the gunwales with some of our fave acts this September, including Christoper Bliss, Ivo Graham, Jordan Brookes and Elf Lyons. All shows are pay what you want — a wonderful way to entice new comedy fans (and comedians) of the future. If you've got the dough to spare, the suggested price for each show is £12. Well worth it, we'd wager.
Pay What You Can Comedy, Battersea Arts Centre, suggested price £12
2. Nice N' Spiky Comedy, 3 September
We'll fess up: absolutely no idea who's playing September's edition of Nice N' Spiky. But we did go to the August edition of this Friday night show, which is hosted in the pimped-up-village-hall surroundings of Stanley Halls — and loved everything from the community atmosphere to the Cronx beer on tap, to the something-for-everyone line-up of comedians. Nice little outdoor bar, too.
Nice N' Spiky, Stanley Arts London, Norwood, £11.50 advance, £13 on the door
3. Olga Koch: Homecoming, 6-11 September
You may have already tuned into Olga Koch's new Radio 4 programme OK Computer, but meanwhile at Soho Theatre, the Russian-born comic returns to the stage for her third show, in which she tries to figure out who the hell she is as an immigrant and certified teen drama queen.
Olga Koch: Homecoming, Soho Theatre, £12-£18
4. West End Comedy Club with Javier Jarquin, Babatunde Aleshe and others, 7 September
This brand new weekly night in Covent Garden's Arts Theatre promises "the best variety of TV and circuit comedians; the funniest up-and-comers and veteran pros". Sounds like a good way to shake off the Tuesday blues. The first show of September is headlined by ^airport security-hating^ Javier Jarquin, and there are heaps of other class comedians (including Toussaint Douglass, and Sara Barron) appearing throughout the month. Welcome to the scene, West End Comedy Club.
West End Comedy Club, Arts Theatre, Covent Garden, £12
5. Rhys James: Snitch, 11 September
The very last show we saw before the UK shut up shop back in March 2020, was Snitch. Rhys James' delightfully nostalgic show harks back to simpler childhood days when your life mainly revolved around tadpoles and cress. Reckon he may have got rid of some of the coughing gags by this point, though.
Rhys James: Snitch, Leicester Square Theatre, Soho, £18.50
6. Loyiso Gola: WIP, 16 September
Prepare to have the piss taken out of you in the nicest possible way, by South African stand-up Loyiso Gola. His Pop Culture show at Soho Theatre (which we gave ★★★★ in The Before Times) was a hoot, and this WIP promises more belly laughs in the making.
Loyiso Gola, The Bill Murray, Angel, £5
7. Dumbledore Is So Gay, 21-26 September
The topics of homophobia and Harry Potter are spun into this much-lauded coming-of-age play, in which Jack has to navigate a world where the school bullies are worse than Crabbe and Goyle, and his dad refuses to watch Graham Norton. Dumbledore Is So Gay has been praised by Theatre Weekly as "uproariously funny", but it'll tug at the heart strings, too.
Dumbledore Is So Gay, Pleasance Theatre, Islington, £15
8. Knock2Bag Comedy with Fern Brady, Mike Wozniak and others, 23 September
You're guaranteed bang for your buck at Knock2Bag Comedy's regular shows at the (literally) glittering Moth Club in Hackney. Tonight's line-up includes Fern Brady (who is going places fast), and the gentlemanly Mike Wozniak of Taskmaster fame, alongside at least four other quality stand-ups. There's plenty more Moth Club comedy throughout September — check out the website.
Knock2Bag Comedy, Moth Club, Hackney Central, £16.50
9. Funny Women Awards Grand Final, 23 September
Hundreds of funny women from across the world have battled it out to reach the Funny Women Awards Grand Final. In fact, as we write this they're still battling it out — although former winners include Katherine Ryan, Kerry Godliman, Sara Pascoe, Bridget Christie and Desiree Burch. Jayde Adams is hosting the night too, so you're in safe comedy mitts.
Funny Women Awards Grand Final, Bloomsbury Theatre, Euston, £15 (live show), £10 (live stream)
10. Marcel Lucont: Le Best Of, 23 September
Is it us, or are half of these shows on the same day? The good news is, you can regularly catch Alexis Dubus' louche French alter ego performing in London, but on this particular date he's doing his 'best of', with a live band, over which he'll perform some soaring miserablist chansons. Order a large glass of merlot before taking your seat.
Marcel Lucont: Le Best Of, Underbelly, Fitzrovia, £17.50