On our annual father-daughter trips to London, England there has always been one constant: musical. Every time we stayed overnight we went to see a musical at the West End.
Not so this year, however. We’d been toying with the idea of buying last minute tickets, then decided we wouldn't, then found out the shows we wanted to see were already sold out, then switched to the last minute idea again and then… there was TripAdvisor.
You see, I’m not a last minute kind of person so I turned to my beloved TripAdvisor forums (I use them quite frequently) and asked if anyone knew a good way to spend a Thursday evening in London.
You know, just in case.
Someone suggested checking out The Comedy Store: a venue solely dedicated to stand-up comedy. We watched some YouTube videos of comedians who had performed at The Comedy Store, had a laugh and booked our premium seats on the website. Prices vary per night but go around £15 – £20 + booking fee – we paid £51 for the two of us + a £5 booking fee.
Just one more thing: the confirmation you get via email is not your ticket. You have to print out that confirmation email and take it to the box office of The Comedy Store (which is just at the entrance) to get your real tickets.
The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store is located in an alley just off of Piccadilly Circus – at 1a Oxendon Street, to be precise. The venue itself is in a basement, which ads a lot to the atmosphere. There’s a bar offering different kinds of drinks and snacks and both can be taken with you to your seat. So cool! There were people enjoying a burger or a pizza during the show.
The seating consisted of regular chairs arranged in half a circle around the stage. The first lines of chairs stood on the ground, the chairs more in the back were placed on a platform (the ‘balcony') so everyone could see well.
When you book premium seats, like we did, you get a chair on that platform (to be honest, I'm not sure if the premium seats were just those in the front row or all the seats on the balcony). If you have a premium seat, your seat is numbered; if you have a regular seat, you can choose where you want to sit in the entire regular seats part of the room.
The Comedy Store is open six days a week and on Thursdays they do “The Best of Comedy”: different stand-up comedians who come to perform.These guys (and one woman) were great. At times I had to laugh so hard it hurt. There was also one guy, the host, who introduced the acts and improvised a little in between. He was hilarious as well. He really interacted with the audience and always had a witty remark ready.
There was this one guy sitting in the front row and when the host asked him what he did for a living, he replied that he was a door-to-door salesman… who sold doors.
Well that guy was scr*wed for the rest of the evening.
One thing we were worried about was that the comedians would make a lot of ‘local’ jokes: referring to local celebrities, politicians, the news… But they actually didn't. I’m sure the other foreigners in the audience (and there were quite a few) appreciated that as well.
The evening consisted of two parts with a 15-minute break in between. The show started at 8 pm and ended at around 10.30 pm. If you have the chance, I highly recommend you go see it. It’s a great way to end the day, or to get in the right mood for a night out.
Address: 1a Oxendon Street
Prices and shows: for prices, shows and timetables check the website
Where to stay in London
Check Booking.com for an extensive list of options for all budgets and needs.
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