August 2021 Update: It looks like the scene is finally getting back on its feet – most of the long-running stalwarts of open mic comedy in London are running again, plus a few new ones.
Some important notes:
- To book a spot you will need to apply via the night’s website or Facebook page. Some nights use booking forms, others just ask you to email, and sometimes they only accept booking requests at specific times when they are ready – they’re all different, read their pages.
- You’re very unlikely to get walk-in spots (where you just show up and sign up on the night without pre-booking) anywhere at the moment, except for Lion’s Den Comedy Car Crash.
- The nights marked “Bringer” will require you to take a friend along to join the audience on the night as a condition of performing. The nights which are not bringers will still be very appreciative if you can take any number of friends along – it all helps support the venue, the night, and the scene.
I’ve added a Google Calendar so you can see what gigs are running on any night of the week, and the full list of nights is below that. The calendar is starting to look a bit crowded, so click here to see the full version.
Please let me know if there’s a night that needs to be added to this list or if any details need to be updated. You can also check out the London Standup Comedy Map, which has lot of information on nights currently running in the city.
|We Are Funny Project||Farr’s School of Dancing, 19 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF – Map||Tuesday |
|WAFP FB Page||One of London’s longest running open mic nights. Popular with both newbies and established acts trying out new material. Each night features a professional headliner, so there’s usually a good audience.|
|Comedy Virgins||Cavendish Arms|
128 Hartington Road
SW8 2HJ – Map
|Comedy Virgins FB Page||Bringer. |
Popular, long running night, ideal for newbies. Almost every aspiring standup in London has been on stage here. Currently running as a hybrid socialy distanced live and online event.
|Lion’s Den||Bar Rumba, 36 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7EP – Map||Tuesday||Lion’s Den FB Page||A popular, long-running new act/material night in the West End. |
No need to book – just sign up on the door between 5:30pm and 6:30pm to get a spot. First come, first served.
|Rising Star Comedy Club||The Old Crown, 33 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1BH – Map||Monday|
|Rising Star FB Page||Bringer.|
Another popular, well established night which often draws a good audience.
You can Be Your Own Bringer, which means if you attend one show as an audience member, you don’t need to bring a friend on the night of your own spot.
|Instant Laughs||The Willoughby Arms, 47 Willoughby Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6LN – Map||Wednesday||Instant Laughs FB Page||New act, new material night. Now running at a new venue in Kingston, as of August 30th 2021.|
Up The Creek,
302 Creek Rd,
SE10 9SW – Map
|Thursday||Up the Creek Web Page |
Beat the Blackout Page
|A gong show where the aim is to last a full five minutes without the audience kicking you off the stage. Email/Call for a spot.|
|Comedy Cabin RAW||Hoxton Cabin, 132 Kingsland Road, Hoxton E2 8DP – Map||Monday |
|Comedy Cabin Booking Page||Regular comedy nights throughout the week, but Monday evening and Saturday afternoon are RAW new act/material nights. You can book a spot through the FB page. More info about the club here.|
|Ding Dong Gong Show||Vauxhall Comedy club, 6, South Lambeth Place, London, SW8 1SP – Map||Sunday||Ding Dong Gong Show website||A new gong-show at Vauxhall Comedy Club, with a twist. As well as audience members being able to red-card acts off the stage, a panel of judges will give acts their feedback. The upside is that the best acts win a paid spot at one of the club’s pro-nights.|
|G&B Comedy||Arch1, Unit 1, West Ham Arches, Cranberry Lane, E16 4BJ – Map||Wednesday||G&B Comedy FB Page||Bringer.|
A popular, well established new act/new material night.
|Comedy at the Birkbeck||45 Langthorne Road, Leyton, London, E11 4HR – Map||Thursday (twice a month)||Comedy at the Birkbeck FB Page||A twice monthly new act/new material night, book via the FB page.|
|King Gong||The Comedy Store, 1a Oxendon St, London SW1Y 4EE – Map||Last Monday of every month||King Gong Web Page||Monthly Gong Show at London’s best known comedy club. It’s the easiest way for an open-mic act to perform in front of a large audience, but it’s an ordeal. The audience is encouraged to heckle from the beginning of your set, and only the best acts survive the full five minutes without getting gonged off.|
|Jollies at the George||The George Tavern,|
373 Commercial Road
London, E1 0LA – Map
|First Monday of the month||Jollies at the George FB Page||Monthly open mic. |
Book via FB page.
|Healing Comedy||Open Ealing, Unit 14 School Lane, Dickens Yard, W5 2TG – Map||Thursday||Healing Comedy FB Page||Two shows each Thursday night – it’s an arts center without a bar, so BYO booze. Not a bringer, but preference is given to acts who can either bring friends, or go along to support any of the preview shows they’re currently running.|
|The Late Gay Comedy Show!||Bar CMYK, 105 – 109 The Broadway, London SW19 1QG – Map||Tuesday||Booking Form||Bringer.|
New night run in an LGBT venue, but open to all acts.