As Halloween creeps up on us, there's some scarily good comedy on the (tarot) cards. Here's what's got our blood pumping for the month ahead.
1. Watford Fringe, 1-3 October
You're right, pedants, Watford isn't technically in London. Still, its fringe festival — on the opening weekend of the month — is the perfect excuse to venture to the land of Harry Potter and board games cafes. Of the fringe's comedy offerings, we've previously seen Nathan Cassidy who was decent enough — while the darkly nonsensical Bex's Chainsaw Moussaka could prove interesting.
Watford Fringe, 1-3 October, various venues and prices
2. Henning Wehn: It'll All Come Out In The Wash, 1-9 October
Everyone's favourite Teutonic Tooting dweller, Henning Wehn has a mini residence at Leicester Square Theatre — and this time he's tackling the 'nonsensical' things in life (we predict one or two Brexit references then). He's been doing the 'German Comedy Ambassador' schtick for years now but continues to find ways to make it komisch.
Henning Wehn: It'll All Come Out In The Wash, Leicester Square Theatre, £25.50
3. Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut, 4-9 October
2019 Hackney Empire NATYS Award-winner Njambi McGrath brings her hit Edinburgh (and BBC Radio 4) show, Accidental Coconut to Soho Theatre. With searing wit, she tells her powerful account of growing up in post-colonial Africa, putting the British Empire firmly to shame. You'll laugh and cringe throughout.
Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut, Soho Theatre, from £12
4. Is This Funny? 5 October
In this en masse work in progress, four great comedians — namely Charlie Vero-Martin, Maddie Campion , Sharlin Jahan and Jain Edwards — hurl freshly-baked gags at the audience, to see what sticks. For two quid, you can hardly go wrong.
Is This Funny?, Aces and Eights, 5 October, £2
5. Laugh Train Home, 6, 13, 20 and 27 October
We went to a Laugh Train Home the other night. It was a bit confusing as most of the acts on the bill weren't actually on stage — nonetheless, some of the ones that did show up were magnificent (including droll headliner Nathan Caton). This is an excellent value night out, especially if you book in advance. Get to Four Thieves early to demolish one of their pizzas.
Laugh Train Home, Four Thieves, 6, 13, 20 and 27 October, from £7
6. Cray Cray Cabaret, 13 October
Former Edinburgh winner Phil Nichol is backed by a house band at this new cabaret show in the hallowed Comedy Store. This month he's joined by top talent including Abandoman, Suzi Ruffell, Sophie Duker and Javier Jarquin, aka "The Card Ninja". Last time we saw Nichol, he threatened to jump out of a first story window, but the Comedy Store is a basement club, so all should be fine.
Cray Cray Cabaret, Comedy Store, 13 October, £15
7. Anton Chekhov's Vaudevilles and other Sketches, 19-30 October
"Outstanding comic timing" and "glorious madness" are among the praise heaped on this collection of witty one-act plays and dramatised short stories by Chekhov. They're adapted by the much-lauded Michael Frayn and performed by many-times-Offie-nominated Mercurius. High brow laughs guaranteed, wethinks.
Anton Chekhov's Vaudevilles and other Sketches, White Bear Theatre, 19-30 October, £14
8. Nerd Nite London, 20 October
For cerebral chuckles, try Nerd Nite, the monthly show at Bethnal Green's Backyard Comedy Club, where three speakers give short, entertaining and enlightening talks on their specialist subject. All you have to do is sit back, sip your beer and learn. September's talks included themes of consumer tech, boats and Wombles. It's fair to say you'll have an eclectic night.
Nerd Nite London, Backyard Comedy Club, 20 October, from £5
9. Weirdos Comedy Presents: Murder at the True Crime Convention, 29-31 October
A panoply of comedy greats (well they're funny on Twitter anyway) including Eleanor Morton, Matthew Highton and Joz Norris combine their powers for another deliciously disorderly Weirdos show. This one involves a true crime convention where everyone starts getting knocked off. Eat your heart out, Agatha Christie.
Weirdos Comedy Presents: Murder at the True Crime Convention, Museum of Comedy, 29-31 October, £15
10. The Thinking Drinkers: Pub Quiz, 30 October
Here's a pub quiz you're bound to enjoy — the Thinking Drinkers duo, Ben McFarland & Tom Sandham, return to the stage with so much tippling trivia, it'll probably start pouring out of your ears. What's more, each audience member gets five free drinks. Hic.
The Thinking Drinkers: Pub Quiz, artsdepot, 30 October, from £12