Top Six 'I Could Do With A Laugh' Comedy Shows, North London
Written by: Sophie Taylor
January. It’s laugh a minute at the best of times. We think it’s high time we ignored January-instigated misery, threw caution to the wind and our heads back in favour of laughing it off. From a snigger to an unrelenting roar, here’s our top six mood enhancing venues to work your stomach muscles.
1. ‘The Old Fashioned Chortle’
Downstairs at The Kings Head
Whether you’re after new talent, established acts or more of a variety feel, Downstairs at The Kings Head in Crouch End has you sorted. Having run comedy nights for over thirty years, this club knows what you want and for how much. Yes, all of this for not much dollar. Added bonus? Very friendly bar staff and tasty drinks selection. As you can imagine the shows are popular, so get booking to avoid a joyless laugh-lacking existence.
Where: 2 Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA.
Nearest tube: Finsbury Park, then the W7 bus.
When: Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday, plus occasional other nights.
How much: £5 – £11.
2. ‘The Classic Chuckle’
The Tickled Bean comedy night features a mainly female line up on Stoke Newington High Road at the Most-Arts Centre. Last November saw the brilliant Robyn Perkins, Funny Women finalist Rosana Bosanac, poet and comedian Anabelszki. January’s line up includes Sister Rainbow (aka Ginny Evans Pollard), local story teller and raconteur Sarah Bennett and the very down to earth, Fay Downie. These weekly celebrations of stand-up, musical comedy and sketches are hosted by Bex Moss.
Where: Most-Art Centre, 86 Stoke Newington High St, N16 7PA. Helpful venue directions here.
Nearest Tube: Stoke Newington
When: Thursday January 19th, Doors: 7pm, Show: 8 – 11pm
How much: £5 on the door or in advance here.
3. ‘The Tuneful Giggle’
At Gunners Pub, Finsbury Park you can finally marry your true loves in a ‘gong show with a difference’: see top notch open mic comedians perform their sets over a live jazz drum soundtrack and attempt to maintain their coooool. Squeeze into your roll neck and click along to improvisational jazz comedy every Monday (less wanky than it sounds). Dylan Dodds is your host with the most. Feel like performing yourself? Acts are welcome to pre-book a five minute set by messaging the Facebook page, or just rock up on the night. This is your moment scat cats. Don’t blow it.
Where: Gunners Pub, Stroud Green Rd
Nearest Tube: Finsbury Park
When: Mondays, 8 – 10pm
How much: Free
4. ‘The Surreal Snigger’
“Don’t the best stories happen behind closed curtains?”
And now for something a little different. Ethan Mechare has birthed a brand new interactive concept comedy. Saturday 28th’s performance is based in Finsbury Park, but the location will only be disclosed via special invite the day before, once you’ve booked your ticket.
Exploring ideas around sexual fantasy, voyeurism and housework, each show is set in a secret cosy living room across London. There will be a bar available to quench your thirst / take the edge off the intimacy with this surreal new show: Coming Clean, Life as a a Naked Housecleaner.
Where: Undisclosed location (special invites sent the day before)
Nearest Tube: Finsbury Park
When: Saturday 28th January, 7:30 – 9:30pm
How much: £16.52
5. ’The Unexpected Guffaw’
Aces and Eights
Scurry down into the cosy basement of Aces and Eights like a naughty little rat for a rambunctious evening of improvised comic chaos. Fortnightly club Shambles is an unplanned evening of new material and characters unfurling live in front of your expectant faces.
Experienced alternative stand up / producer / journalist Harry Deansway runs the show with a weighty inside knowledge of the scene. Expect the unexpected from new talent and the odd special guest. Oh, and it’s completely free.
Where: Aces and Eights
Nearest tube: Tufnell Park
When: Doors 7:45pm, Monday 30th Jan
How much: Free
6. ‘The Unrelenting Roar’
The Camden Head
If you’re that guy who likes to sit in an empty auditorium long after the show has ended, occasionally lifting your feet for the cleaners, get yourself to Camden. Camden Comedy Club is held upstairs at The Camden Head. Every. Single. Day. That’s one never ending laughathon.
They’ve recently undergone a shiny renovation and added a load of new shows to the already bursting bill. Comedy stalwarts from Stewart Lee to Bridget Christie have tread the boards here, and no doubt will again. The new programme now includes sketch and improv, Edinburgh Festival previews and even workshops and masterclasses for wannabe jokesters.
Where: Upstairs at The Camden Head, 100 Camden High St.
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
When: Various nights (every night)
How much: From free to £10
“He said, I know It’s only arctic roll but I like it like it yes I dooooo” Those are the lyrics right? Well this weekend they certainly are, at Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasure in Kings Cross featuring an arctic roll of pure indulgence. Over Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July, the street food collective from your wildest dreams are hosting the most indulgent hits from all their pop ups at Granary Square.
Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.
We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside
This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.
Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.
Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.
Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at jumbletrail.com where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.
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Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.
Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.
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So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.