Located on Dean Street, the Soho Theatre is the place to see big comedians, new talent, international stars and the best shows from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The main theatre has a capacity of 140 so it retains an intimate feel, while the downstairs cabaret space is even smaller and has a bar attached.
See some of the best up and coming acts here including caberet, comedy and other performances. There are special ticket deals available for those on a budget and Soho Theatre also offers a series of workshops that can be attended.
Leicester Square Theatre
Leicester Square Theatre has all its bases covered. Downstairs is a small basement room for new material shows and up-and-coming acts while upstairs houses a 400 capacity auditorium with comfy old-school-cinema style seating.
This place has really become a comedy hotspot of late with respected stand-ups like Stewart Lee and Doug Stanhope opting to hold lengthy show runs there. Sign up to the mailing list and you get to hear about secret gigs before anyone else. Past shows have included Bill Bailey and Michael McIntyre.
Hen and Chickens
A renowned Islington fringe theatre, this place sits above the cosy Hen and Chickens bar on Highbury Corner. The theatre itself is a small space with 54 individual raked seats, while the bar underneath is renowned for its friendly staff and lively atmosphere.
Hen and Chickens prides itself on showcasing new comedy writing from plays to sketches and stand-up. It offers big comedy names and performance art shows.
Famous for its small size, and touted as one of the best comedy clubs in London. The Etcetera can be found above the Oxford Arms pub on Camden High Street and plays host to some of the best fringe shows in the capital.
With a maximum capacity of 42, it certainly is intimate and if you’re in the front row you feel right in the action. During the whole of August, it is one of several venues that house the Camden Fringe, with loads of different performances going on all day and night.
As well as holding one of the main performance spaces at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Pleasance Theatre also has a smaller base in London, where it fosters new comedy talent all year round.
Based in Holloway, above a lively bar and restaurant, there are several small theatres spaces here, showcasing everything from Edinburgh warm-up shows, comedy plays and the occasional TV star.
Beautifully situated by the canal in Little Venice, the Canal Cafe Theatre has been running comedy and fringe theatre since 1979 and is where the excellent topical satire show NewsRevue is held four times a week. As well as providing a platform for up-and-coming new acts, it also gets the occasional big name coming through its doors.
The League of Gentlemen, Daniel Kitson, and Stewart Lee have all performed there in the past. Found above the Bridge House pub on Delamere Terrace, it has a slight cabaret feel to it with red velvet curtains and candlelit tables seating from 4-10 people.
If you are looking for a fun evenings entertainment all of these theatres have a lot to offer. The theatre scene in London is extensive both on and off the West End. Smaller more intimate venues have great performers and productions so it is worth checking the listings. You are sure to have a great night without spending a fortune.