SOLD OUT – Henning Wehn and Lloyd Langford: Edinburgh Previews in Islington on Tuesday July 15

Laugh Out London is proud to present exciting Edinburgh previews from two Radio 4 favourites. The German Comedy ambassador to Great Britain Henning Wehn and welsh wonder Lloyd Langford. It’s pretty continental.

Date: Tuesday 15th July 2014
Venue: The Old Queens Head, 144 Essex Rd, London, N1 8LN
Nearest station: Angel (7 minute walk)
Time: Doors 7.30, Start 8.00pm



Limited returned tickets may be available on the door from 7.30pm

Continue reading

Red Bastard comes to london

Comedy gigs in London this week (Oct 4 2013)

Red Bastard comes to london

Red Bastard

The best comedy gigs in London the week of October 4th 2013 as picked by Lindsay Harrod

Until Sunday October 6

Angel Comedy Extravaganza Week at the Camden Head, Islington
Free shows every night featuring the likes of Sara Pascoe, Shappi Korsandi, Daniel Simonsen and Aisling Bea.

Friday October 4 to Saturday October 5

Red Bastard at Brady Arts Centre
One of the main talking points at this year’s Fringe, Red Bastard is an interactive and intense show in which something interesting must happen every ten seconds. An experience not to be missed.

Saturday October 5

Live at the Chapel at Union Chapel
With the five-star double-act Pajama Men, musical comedian David O’Doherty, Fosters Award winner Bridget Christie, Nish Kumar and Rob Rouse MC, all in the beautiful Union Chapel.

Sunday October 6

Rise of the Idiots at The Exhibit
A brilliant line-up headlined by ‘Impractical Jokers’ Joel Dommett, Fosters newcomer nominees John Kearns and Liam Williams, Sofie Hagen and Mark Restuccia.

Monday October 7

Casual Violence: House of Nostril at Pleasance Islington
Casual Violence present a series of hilarious sketches in a loose plot based on the Nostril family and their strange scheming.

Tuesday October 8 to Sunday October 13

Richard Herring ‘We’re All Going to Die’ at Leicester Square Theatre
‘King of the Fringe’, ‘Podfather’ (and collector of ridiculous titles) Richard Herring brings his sell out Fringe show to London, in which he explores the taboo subject of death. Highlights include the deconstruction of nursery rhymes and Hamlet.

Tuesday October 8 to Saturday October 26

Bryony Kimmings: Credible, Likeable Superstar Role Model at Soho Theatre
Not strictly comedy, but one of the most exciting pieces at the Fringe this year which challenges the horribly prevalent sexualisation and commodification of childhood for profit. Kimmings and her nine year old niece, Taylor, create their own role model for young girls called Catherine Bennett, who loves dinosaurs, bikes and tuna pasta.

Wednesday October 9 to Saturday October 12

Mae Martin ‘Slumber Party’ at Soho Theatre
Canadian musical comedian Mae Martin offers witty and very funny songs as well as great stand-up.

The Phoenix Fringe

Phoenix Fringe comedy festival launches in London

The Phoenix Fringe

The Phoenix Fringe

Not going to Edinburgh? Can’t afford the jacked-up train fare? Can’t get any overpriced accommodation? Still want to see some awesome comedy? Well let’s introduce you to The Phoenix Fringe!

From August 3rd to 11th, the Phoenix at Cavendish Square will be swarmed with amazing comedy talent including… *deep breath*

Mark Watson, Alan Davies, Robin Ince, Robin Ince’s Dirty Book Club, Katherine Ryan, Andi Osho, Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown, Elis James, Tiffany Stevenson, Pete Johansson, Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Sinha, Andy Zaltzman, Rufus Hound, Isy Suttie, Tiernan Douieb, Bob Mills, Holly Walsh, Andew O’Neill, Ben Target plus more TBC….. *and relax*

On top of that, Russell Howard will be performing work-in-progress shows on Thursday 8th and Sunday 11th

We had a chat to one of the festivals organisers Tiernan Douieb.

_ _ _

How did the Phoenix Fringe come about?

Tiernan Douieb

Tiernan Douieb

The very funny comic Tiffany Stevenson came up with it after a drunken night at Old Rope. Like many of us, she is disillusioned with the Edinburgh Fringe and wondered why we can’t do a proper fringe in London where acts don’t pay thousands, or in fact anything, to do it. It’s a fringe by comedians for comedians and fans of comedy. Plus the room is air conditioned which all in all, is probably more important.

Which shows are you most excited about seeing?

There are loads. I’m really excited about Rufus Hound’s new improv show ‘Fiasco’ which sounds like all sorts of madness and of course I’m excited about Russell Howard and Mark Watson’s work in progress shows too. But mostly I’m looking forward to seeing acts I really like do a full hour, such as Nick Doody, up and coming sharp political comedian Joe Wells and the very very funny Angela Barnes. Robin Ince has been telling me about Dirty Book Club too and that’s sounding like it’ll be pretty wrong. Wrong but excellent.

How has the Edinburgh fringe become so expensive for comics?

Without meaning to state the obvious, it’s to do with greed. Edinburgh Council now charges three times the amount for entertainment licences than it used to. That means the Edinburgh venues charge the acts to take the brunt of it and venue hire is very pricey. Add to that the ever rising costs of PR which keep going up as there are more and more shows to compete with. Then there is also the accommodation costs as local residents let out their flats for far more than you’d pay to stay in most places in London in the summer.

The reasons for going to Edinburgh were never to make money, but it shouldn’t be to lose a lot of money either.

Individual shows are £8 or a day pass covering three shows is £20

Five shows to see at the Phoenix Fringe

Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown

Pappys Flatshare SlamdownThe finest comedy podcast on the planet right now! The stars of BBC3’s Badults are in their 4th series of this flat based panel game which always spins into joyful anarchy. Add in some rather awesome guest (such as Richard Herring, Bridget Christie, Rufus Hound etc) and you have a belting podcast.

Isy Suttie

Isy SuttieThe delightful Isy has just come off the back of her radio 4 series “Isy Suttie’s Love Letters” which was delightful. Isy is best known for her role as Dobbie in Peep Show, and happens to be a wonderful stand up, her 2011 show “Pearl and Dave” won loads of critical acclaim.

Andy Zaltzman

Andy ZaltzmanAndy is by far one of the best political comedians anyone can see. One half of the Bugle podcast with John Oliver, Andy has been known in Edinburgh for running his late night “Political Animal” at the stand. He’s a wonderfully sharp comic.

Ben Target

Ben TargetOne of the most adventurous comedy acts to emerge in a number of years.  2012’s brilliant Discover Ben Target showed his wonderful array of clowning skills, silly prop work and his eccentric persona. He is by far and away one of our favourite acts.

Paul Sinha

Paul SinhaPaul has become one of the most respected stand-up on the circuit. A regular at The Comedy Store and The Stand he is well known for his wonderfully constructed hour long shows and was picked out by Stewart Lee to be on the Alternative Comedy Experience

The Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh Fringe Festival Interview

Edinburgh Fringe interview: The Stand Comedy Club

The Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh Fringe Festival Interview

Every comedy fan worth their salt should know about The Stand Comedy Club. The chain has clubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle and has become a mecca for fans of alternative comedy.

Acts playing The Stand at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year include, Stewart Lee, Simon Munnery, Susan CalmanTony Law, Lucy PorterMark Thomas, Bridget Christie, Richard HerringThe Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, Brendon BurnsAlexei Sayle and more.

We were lucky enough to have a chat to Dave McGuire from The Stand about the club’s preparations for August.

_ _ _

Hello Dave, how is the Edinburgh fringe prep going?

Fringe prep going well, I could do with more hours in the day, but having too much to do as a result of having great shows with lots of interest from press and public alike can only be a good thing. Unlike every other comedy venue on the Fringe, The Stand is Edinburgh’s only 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, full time comedy club, so whilst others are planning their trip up to ‘do Edinburgh’ we’ve got shows on in the same room we have our primetime Fringe shows.  In addition to that we’ve got our clubs in Glasgow and Newcastle which have shows on 7 nights a week, all year round.  By the time people read this I’ll be starting in the morning and finishing slightly earlier the next morning.  That being said, this is by far my favourite time of year.

Can you tell us how The Stand got started and how it’s evolved?

The Stand evolved from a group of comedy fans, including founders Tommy Sheppard and Jane Mackay, seeing the need for somewhere in Edinburgh that would put on the sort of comedy shows that they’d like to see. After a couple of year hosting shows in pubs (including our first 2 Fringes) we moved to our current full time home in 1998, and have moved from strength to strength.  From the beginning the company was adamant that it would provide comedians and audiences with the respect that they deserve, and continue to treat comedians we believe as well as any comedy club in the world.

What’s the most difficult aspect of running 4 venues with hundreds of different acts between them?

From my point of view as the press guy, it’s finding time to do everything. In addition to my press and promo duties I also act as the sole PR for quite a few shows.  Because we treat everyone as family The Stand go out of their way to make the Fringe as successful as we can for every single show, not just the big names.  What makes things easier is that our core team work at The Stand year round, so we are a tight unit and don’t really have to re-acquaint ourselves with everything, and a lot of our temporary Fringe staff are returnees, so again that allows us to provide an efficient and personable service to both acts as well as the gig going public.  Fatigue is certainly an issue as the Fringe moves into its latter stages, but we take huge pride in what we do, and it’s probably not PC to say, but even though I’m a bit of a one-man-band I fully believe that The Stand shows are of a quality that we deserve the same media coverage as the much bigger venues that have large teams of staff and corporate cash behind them, the only thing I struggle with is convincing some of the London based press to venture beyond the university.

You are crammed to the rafters with brilliant acts, how do you pick the acts you have on?

We’re extremely lucky that our reputation allows us to book some of the best acts in the business.  Obviously there are bigger venues charging way more for tickets, and they’re fine for the acts keen to make big money, but star names that come to The Stand are the sort of people that appreciate what we do, and view quality over quantity.  There’s no set way of us picking acts, but you’ll see that quite a few comedians come back year after year, or are acts that we have a long term relationship with (they might play the club during the rest of the year).  A lot of acts also approach us, and with them we look to see what works best for them and the programme.  We like to have a range of acts that reflect our approach to comedy rather than simply booking acts that we think will pack the place out, they can play somewhere else.

Stewart Lee, Simon Munnery, Richard Herring and loads of other shave expressed their fondness for The Stand. What is it about the club they like?

The main thing is the atmosphere of the room (especially Stand One, our year round room) and the fact that we attract an intelligent, comedy savvy audience and don’t allow big groups, stags and hens, and aren’t all about cramming the place and flogging lots of booze. For us, the comedy is the key.  These acts appreciate our commitment to quality, to developing comedy, giving them the freedom to try something new and interesting.

People may recognise The Stand from Comedy Central’s “The Alternative Comedy Experience”, Do you feel the show captured the atmosphere of the club?

I’d like to think so, and the positive reaction from comedy fans seems to reflect this. Obviously Stand fans were disappointed not to see the famous Stand Cowboy backdrop (was felt that it was too visually distracting) but it captured the feel of the club, as well as the quality and variety of acts that we host all year round.  The series was very different to any other ‘live’ comedy show on television, and to me was infinitely better. I saw several of the shows this year, and hope that with one series under their belt, this next series will be even better. Hopefully they’re able to get it to an even wider audience.

You recently hosted a fundraiser for the PBH free fringe in your venues. On paper that seems an odd thing to do for a supposed rival company, so how did it come about?

Some might question whether the venues like The Stand and the Free Fringe are in competition, Stand Comedy Club owner Tommy Sheppard, is a supporter of the PBH Free Fringe says “I’ve always been a strong supporter of the free fringe – it’s a refreshing alternative to the pay to play model that many of the big venues have, and despite being limited to small scale production the Free Fringe has now become a forum not just for beginners but for many seasoned acts too”.

Whereas some of the bigger Fringe venues have treated the Free Fringe as a threat, The Stand have opted for a supportive and symbiotic relationship that we hope can foster the intended positive creative energy at the Edinburgh Fringe, and part of that was the fundraiser, which they used the ticket sales to help fund the printing of their Fringe brochure.

Are there any particular acts are looking forward to hosting this year?

Aside from the obvious big name acts I’m excited about Lost Voice Guy, the only stand-up that needs a communication device in order to speak; David Kay is a Scottish legend and was one of the stand-out stars of Alternative Comedy Experience; The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society has piqued my interest; I saw Baconface do a preview and am intrigued to see how that show will develop, and last but not least will be the double header with Brendon Burns and the world’s leading indie wrestler Colt Cabana.

All the shows at The Stand Comedy Club during the Edinburgh Fringe

The Stand’s website
Stewart Lee, Daniel Simonsen, Holly Burn and Philip O'Shea

Comedy night in Islington on July 15th- Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee, Daniel Simonsen, Holly Burn and Philip O'Shea

Stewart Lee, Daniel Simonsen, Holly Burn and Philip O’Shea

A top comedy night in Angel, Islington, headlined by the one and only Stewart Lee!

Venue is The Old Queens Head, 44 Essex Road, Islington, London N1 8LN.

Doors are 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

Tickets are £8 in advance (on sale at 10am on June 13th), or £10 on the door.



Stewart will be doing 50 minutes of new material towards his next series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. As Stewart says “Do not go on Twitter saying it seemed disjointed. It should do and will.”

“More bilious than ever”  ★★★★ -The  Guardian

“Superlative” ★★★★★ The Metro

“Marvellously funny: mordant, thoughtful and crafted” – The Observer

“Masterful” ★★★★ Telegraph

“…Stewart Lee, about as funny as bubonic plague” – The Sun

“Slimepit of bitterness” -Jan Moir, Daily Mail


Daniel’s debut hour “Champions” netted him the Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer in 2012. Other achievements since leaving his native Norway to pursue his stand up career include winning So You Think You’re Funny (2008), reaching the finals of the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year and supporting Simon Amstell on tour. He also popped up on Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC Three). He will also playing Bob Mortimer’s sulky son in Vic & Bob’s new sitcom House of Fools.

“Exquisitely crafted gags and out-and-out surrealism, at its best like a fusion of Emo Philips and Vic & Bob” – the Guardian

“You knew he was funny before he even opened his mouth” -Scotsman.

“No doubt that Simonsen has proven himself a talent to keep an eye on” –Time Out

“An outstanding comedian” – Fringe Guru


One of Laugh Out London’s favourite acts, surreal character act Holly was chosen as The Independent’s One To Watch in comedy for 2013. An act that’s harder than most to define, Holly was also chosen as Harry Hill’s best comedy newcomer in the Radio Times.

“Burn is so adorable that both the men and the women in the audience fall in love with her. A natural with physical comedy… and her writing reveals some absolute gems. Bribe or blag your way into the H Club post- haste” – **** Chortle

“Sexy and bonkers like Twin Peaks” – Eddie Izzard


A quirky, surreal and imaginative up-and-comer, Philip finished second in the prestigious Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year. Far and away one of our favourite acts.

“ Quirky and deceptively cerebral humour’ – Fest

“an inspired and imaginative young stand-up with a bright future” –London Is Funny

“charming chaotic persona and engaging visual aids” – Edinburgh Evening News

Jack De'Ath

Jack De’Ath


Regular host of Laugh Out London. His of beat humour often uses silly drawing and games which has lead him to be described as “slightly surreal” by a number of people.

“Engaging gems of originality and comic charm” – comedyblogedy.com

“He’s already very very good” – We Love Comedy

Edinburgh Fringe Previews

More Laugh Out London Edinburgh Festival Fringe previews announced

Edinburgh Fringe Previews

Edinburgh Fringe comedy previews

Laugh Out London’s Edinburgh Fringe preview season continues with more ace acts at knock-down prices! Here is a list of what’s coming up!


Pat Cahill

Pat Cahill

Friday July 5th at the Camden Head in Camden
Pat Cahill and John Kearns

Multi-award winning comedy superstar in the making Pat Cahill previews his debut hour ‘Start’ as superbly odd John Kearns dons a wig and false teeth for his preview of ‘Sight Gags for Perverts’. Not to be missed.

Price: FREE


James Acaster

James Acaster

Saturday July 6th at the Camden Head in Camden
James Acaster and Daniel Simonsen

Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show Nominee 2012 James Acaster will be previewing his new show ‘Lawnmower’ alongside Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer 2012 Daniel Simonsen. We expect this to get very busy.

Price: £5


Nick Helm Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

NIck Helm

Tuesday July 9th at the Old Queen’s Head in Angel, Islington
Nick  Helm and Abandoman

‘Live at the Electric’ star and Edinburgh Fringe Best Show nominee 2011 Nick Helm previews his new show ‘One Man Mega Myth’; expect shouting. PLUS! The amazing Abandoman bring their unique style of Hip-Hop / Rap / Comedy.

Price: £5


Thursday July 18th at the Camden Head in Camden
Michael Legge plus support

Michael Legge: Free Wi-Fi

Michael Legge: Free Wi-Fi

As seen on the Alternative Comedy Experience on Comedy Central, the wonderful Michael Legge will be bringing his own unique brand of ranting to Laugh Out London. He’s joined by regular Laugh Out London host Jack De’Ath and Bob Fletcher, and best of all it;’s totally free!


Price: Free!


Sara Pascoe Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Sara Pascoe

Thursday July 25th at the Camden Head in Camden
Sara Pascoe and Nish Kumar

As seen on ‘Stand Up for the Week’ and ‘Live At The Apollo’, Sara Pascoe brings us ‘Sara Pascoe vs the Truth’. We also have Nish Kumar, soon to appear on Stewart Lee’s ‘Alternative Comedy Experience’!

Price: £5


Phew! That is all… or is it? *dun dun duuuuun*

Edinburgh Fringe interview: Nathaniel Metcalfe

Nathaniel Metcalfe Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy interview

We first encountered Nathaniel Metcalfe in Edinburgh way back in 2009. Out of all the comics we saw that year he was the one of the few who really stuck in our minds, thanks to his  brilliantly deconstructed jokes and unique delivery. From the very first second he walked on stage and said “Hello gang!” he had won us over. We had a chat to him about his first solo Edinburgh show and his Edinburgh experiences of the past (and films).


Hallo Nathaniel. How are you?

I’m fine, thank you very much for asking. How are you LOLdon?

This is your first full hour at the Fringe. What made now the right time?

Well the truthful answer is it’s because I wanted to do it last year but I wasn’t organised enough to get it ready in time. All the Fringe deadlines are so early that I would’ve had to apply sometime in the mid-1990s in order to have a show on by 2012.

Your show is called Enthusiast. Should your audience expect an hour of non-stop excitement about life and things?

It’s more of a celebration of obscure pop culture.

I should have just said yes shouldn’t I?

What are you enthusiastic for about the Fringe this year (please note the clever use of ‘enthusiastic’ there)?

Well done.

I’m really looking forward to see what David Trent does next. He’s both one of my favourite acts and one of my favourite people. He’s a truly exciting performer and everyone should see him. I’m also very keen to see Ivo Graham’s show. I saw him do a short set recently and thought he was absolutely brilliant.

You’ve been at the Fringe before doing shorter sets. How have you enjoyed those, and what have you learnt?

In 2009 I did a free show with James Acaster and Jake Moore. We were so far away from the main hub-bub that we found it almost impossible to get an audience. If no one turned up it was almost a blessing. Mainly we were performing to 4 or 5 people a day and it was very difficult, but the three of us are probably better friends today because of it. Jake all but quit stand up off the back of it and James is probably still my closest friend in comedy aside from the obvious exception of my girlfriend.

In 2011 I did a double-header with Chris Boyd on the Royal Mile. We only struggled for an audience on a couple of occasions but otherwise with very little effort we managed to get decent audiences and I loved it. I really relished the opportunity to be able to develop material over a month, and by the end of the festival when everyone was bleary-eyed and dreaming of home I felt that I could carry on doing it forever. It was just the perfect place to do stand up.

I’d say if you’re a very new comedian and you choose not go to Edinburgh you might as well not be in the game. Definitely do it if you can. The opportunity to gig there is immense and if you want to get better then it’s the best crash course you can do.

You’ve been described in reviews as “Stewart Lee on ecstasy”. Is this a view you agree with, and have you ever seen Stewart Lee on ecstacy to ascertain if this is true?

It’s very flattering of course, and made all the more amusing in the context of the old Lee and Herring sketch about Norman Wisdom on acid:

What other shows are you looking forward to this year?

Loads. I like to try and see as many shows as I can. All the obvious ones like Acaster, Nick Helm, Bridget Christie, Wil Hodgson, Ben Moor, Tig Notaro, Brett Goldstein, Mike Wozniak, Josh Widdicombe, etc. Also I finally get to see full length shows by people I haven’t seen enough of such as Romesh Ranganathan, Ian Smith, Amy Wright, and John Kearns.

But most of all I’m looking forward to seeing all the shows from the people I forgot to mention above, especially those reading this wondering why they didn’t get a name check.

At the Fringe in 2011, you went to see Planet of the Apes on opening day. Are there any films coming out in August you are looking forward to seeing?

Wow. You’ve got a very good memory. Well, I am very intrigued to see The Lone Ranger with the racially questionable casting of Johnny Depp as a Native American and it goes without saying the Alan Partridge movie too.

Thanks you Nathaniel

No. Thanks you.

Nathaniel Metcalfe: Enthusiast
August 3-24 (not 14), 2.35pm
Cabaret Voltaire (venue 338)