Amateur underground comedy can be just as much fun as the big venues and big names.
Comedy promoter Paul Drury spends much of his working life trying to whip up interest in London’s grassroots circuit, and has become a ‘stand-up expert’.
“The great joy of London is the variety – that’s what makes it a global comedy capital,” Drury says.
”Whether you’re into sketch, character, improv or traditional stand-up, there’s no city like it for comedy.”
In terms of what punters can expect from a night out midweek at one of London’s smaller venues, Drury emphasises the variety on offer, the shock of the new.
“The comics who really inspire promoters are the ones who get outside their comfort zones,” he says.
“They’re prepared to tackle comedy outside their prepared material. The days of basic bantering are over – the best comedians now have to have a real passion and a focus.
“And to some extent, the comedy scene can be a bit inward-looking – these nights are for anyone looking for something a bit different.”
TNT’s picks for London midweek comedy nights
Falling Down with Laughter
Comedy club based at Belushi’s.
»Belushi’s, Borough High St, SE1 1HR. Tube: Borough
Knock2bag at Bar FM and The Tabernacle
See household names midweek at Bar FM in Shepherd’s Bush or The Tabernacle in Notting Hill. Find listings
» Bar FM, Hopgood St, W12 7JU . Tube: Shepherd’s Bush Market
» The Tabernacle, Powis Sq, W11 2AY. Tube: Ladbroke Grove
Wednesday Offensive at The Albany
Check out rising stand-up stars Sunday Defensive and Lee Kern at the Albany’s monthly Wednesday night laugh-fest.
» The Albany, Great Portland St, W1W 5QU. Tube: Great Portland Street
The Fix at the Camden Head
Comics almost every Thursday and Friday night at this Camden comedy institution
» Camden High St, NW1 0LU. Tube: Camden Town
Words: TOM STURROCK