The Handbook
The Handbook

Are you reading to giggle, laugh, guffaw and chuckle until a little bit of pee comes out? Life has been a bit of a downer in recent months, so the best way to remedy that is to sit in a freezing called London park and watch British comedians make a fool out of themselves. Nothing says summer in London like stoically sitting through rain to watch people deliver a speech of sarcasm and wit.

Grab your woollies and picnic blanket and head to one of these destinations around London to see your favourite comedians in action, from ventriloquist Nina Conti to sharp-tongued comedian Jimmy Carr. And get ready to howl with laughter… it’s going to be great!

1. The Comedy Store at Skylight Rooftop

Tobacco Dock is always a bit of a mission to get too, but once you’re there it seems worth the five underground lines and seven overground changes. The rooftop bar there, Skylight, is already open for business and everyone’s been basking in the sun sipping cocktails with epic views. Now extra laughter has been added into the mix.

The Comedy Store has teamed up with Skylight to bring the best talent from UK comedy straight to the stage. The first event is taking place on Wednesday 19 May and the line up will include Ria Lina as MC, Zoe Lyons and Hal Cruttenden. You might recognise the latter two from Have I Got News for You and Live at the Apollo.

Expect some magnificent London sunsets, loud guffaws and table service. Cocktails will be served up by Skylight’s mixologist Sebastian Hollingworth alongside Asian dishes from Hikari and American-inspired bites from State Side.

Details: From 19 May, 6.30pm-11pm, tables up to 6 for £90
Where: Skylight Rooftop, Pennington Street entrance, E1W 2SF
Website: www.skylightlondon.com

2. Hullabaloo at Ally Pally

Run out of ideas for the big bank holiday at the end of May? The pubs all booked? We thought so. Head on down to Alexandra Palace for an alfresco comedy extravaganza. Hullabaloo is a long weekend of stand-up, sketches and ventriloquism, with the line-up of laughs including: Ed Byrne, Nina Conti, The Cuban Brothers, Ed Gamble, Russell Howard, Flo & Joan, Milton Jones, Nish Kumar, Henning Wehn and many more.

The big knees-up is taking place at Ally Pally’s Terrace Bar, dubbed London’s biggest beer garden. Well, there’s only one way to find out – you’ll just have to go and see it yourself. Whether it’s true or not, the views are pretty great, with a panorama of the Palace’s 196 acre park and there’s space for around 300 socially-distanced punters.

As well as comedy there’s a whole host of other fun things planned there – live music, sports screenings, and StrEATlife (Ally Pally’s annual street food event) to name a few. Plus, with table service and a bunch of mates, there’s not much else you could want for.

Details: 28 – 31 May, from £20 pp
Where: Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY
Website: www.alexandrapalace.com

3. Mark Watson’s Carpool Comedy Club

Nina Conti is seriously doing the rounds this summer. It’s not surprising though, every performer is making up for lost time and hitting every comedy circuit they can. This time she’s joining comedians Mark Watson and Ivo Graham for a drive-in evening of giggles.

Get your Zip car of your four-wheeled drive and head to the beautiful grounds of Syon House in West London (sort of). Here you can listen to the antics of comedians twice in one night with both a 6pm and 9pm showing. The event is run by Alfresco Theatre which is run by the creators of the sell-out Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park. So you know you’re in good hands.

As well as comedy, you can also watch some movies. They’re showing Jojo Rabbit, Dirty Dancing and Grease or watch a Beatles tribute band The Bootleg Beatles. Just no hanky panky in the car please.

Details: 11 June, 6pm or 9pm, from £36.75
Where: Syon House, TW8 8JF
Website: www.thealfrescotheatre.co.uk

Run out of ideas for the big bank holiday at the end of May? The pubs all booked? Comedy is the answer!

4. MOREoutdoor at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

It’s all kicking off in Regent’s Park. They’ve got an exciting roster of people on board, you’ll just need to pack your woolies and jumpers and blankets to make sure you can survive the night. First up on 4 July, is Aisling Bea plus some American Friends. We’re not being rude, they really are titled just ‘some American Friends’. Expect some new material, some old material, lots of sexual tension (we just love an open air flirt with Aisling Bea) and some American people because it’s the 4th of July! Plus all profits will be donated to Refuge Charity, an organisation that provides specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Next up is Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny on 11 July. Expect jokes about all kinds of terrible things (that’s what it says on the bill), and be ready to laugh, cringe and get slightly offended. Last but by no means least is Canned Laughter an all-star line-up in support of The Trussell Trust’s London foodbanks, helping fight food poverty with two massive shows in one night. Suzi Ruffell (Live At The Apollo) and Rose Matafeo (her own BBC Comedy Special ‘Horndog’) have been announced, but there are many more to go. It’s all for a good cause, so what are you doing still sitting there? Go and get some tickets!

Details: 4 July – 15 August, from £21.80
Where: The Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, NW1 4NU
Website: www.openairtheatre.com

5. St Albans Comedy Garden

Okay, so this one is technically not in London, but it’s close. But there are five nights of brilliant comedy, craft beers, cocktails, street food and world-class acts, so it’s worth a mention. Set in the delightful grounds of Verulamium Park in St Albans, you’ll be greeted by stand-up superstars, including Sara Pascoe, Dara O’Briain, Josh Widdicombe, Alan Davies, Rob Beckett and Tom Allen… plus lots lots more.

And if you’re an NHS staff member, health worker or teacher you get a special discount ticket – how cool is that!

Details: 28 July – 1 August,
Where: Verulamium Park, St Albans, AL1 3JE
Website: www.stalbanscomedygarden.co.uk

6. Best of the Edinburgh Festival at London Wonderground

This summer the famous purple udders of the Udderbelly are bringing a huge summer festival to Earl’s Court. There will be rides, music, food, drink, hopefully some sun and best of all – some comedy!

Previously on the South Bank, this huge pop-up is upping sticks to north of the river on the site of the former Earls Court 2 Exhibition Centre and comes with a city beach.

There will be street food vendors, vintage rides, live music, DJs and in May there will be an announcement of the comedy acts including the pick of the best shows from the Edinburgh Festival season of comedy.

Where: Empress Place, Earl’s Court, SW6 1TT
Website: www.londonwonderground.co.uk

7. Costa del Tottenham

Costa del Tottenham sounds fancy doesn’t it? Sounds like the place you really want to hang out in with a cocktail and a football t-shirt. Bear with us… this mini festival space is popping up with DJs, live music, food and a little theatre.

Much of it has yet to be announced yet, but expect some funny people ripping up the crowd with jokes on the south side terrace of the venue. Previous visitors have included: Jacob Hawley from BBC Radio 4, Radu Isac on Comedy Central and Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year Finalist Davina Bentley.

Where: Ashley Road, Tottenham Hale, N19 9LZ
Website: www.costadeltottenham.co.uk


Want to receive more great articles like this every day: sign up here