Camden Town is precious to locals and tourists alike, constantly evolving with the times, and over the years many of Britain’s favourite acts have cut their teeth in the pubs and clubs of this famous old North London area. It is synonymous with alternative culture and the arts and is a hive of new music, the latest fashions and, most importantly for us, great comedy.
Although the comedy venues may not roll off the tongue as easily as some of the music venues such as The Roundhouse, KOKO, or Electric Ballroom, there is a host of great comedy nights running in Camden, enough in fact to keep you busy for several nights a week!
Highlight Comedy Club
Previously owned by the Jongleurs group, the venue is located in the middle of Camden lock market and in the heart of the unique Camden atmosphere. As a venue, it has hosted comedy for over 30 years and has helped launched the career of comics such as Eddie Izzard and Kevin Bridges.
Highlight tends to host and good mix of well-knowns along with plenty of up and coming talent. They are currently running two nights a week (Friday & Saturday) with Foster’s showcasing some great new talent. Tickets cost around £17.
Monkey Business Comedy Club
Split across two venues – The Oxford on Thursday nights and The Sir Richard Steele on Saturday night, Monkey Business has been a big player in the Camden comedy scene for nearing ten years, having formed in 2004. The atmosphere is a friendly one and lends itself to intimate shows with breaking comics and seasoned pros alike. The club has helped launch the careers of comics such as Russell Howard and Jack Whitehall and has a fine tradition of promoting new talent.
You can kick your Camden comedy week off at the Laughing Horse on Wednesday nights. Situated on Arlington Road, adjacent to the high street it again has a great blend of new and old faces on the circuit. Laughing Horse are more than happy to give budding comedians a shot and there is an open slot every week at the beginning of the night to encourage people to get involved. Tickets are only £6 and you are bound to have a great time. If you do fancy trying your hand behind the mic, then head over to their website for more information.
Situated upstairs at The Oxford Arms, just down the road from Camden Town tube station, this venue has earned an excellent reputation, earning high praise from many corners as one of London’s best small venues since its inception in 1986. Etcetera provides a rather different experience in terms of watching comedy and one well worth checking out. Head to the website for more information and listings.
Where to Eat
Fogg’s – Really cool restaurant with a menu inspired by the journeys of Phileas Fogg; it offers cuisine from across the world. Homely decorated with really friendly staff, but it isn’t the biggest, so if you are thinking of going at the weekend it might be advisable to book. Neatly situated in between The Hawley Arms and Highlight.
Andy’s Taverna – Greek restaurant with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It is located just off the high road on Bayham Street, very close to Laughing Horse.
Where to Drink
The Hawley Arms – Great beer, great atmosphere, great pub. Decent for a celeb spot too if you’re into that. It’s also just across the road from the Highlight Comedy Club.
The World’s End – Right opposite Camden Town tube, The World’s End is an extremely well known pub. It’s big inside with two bars and a second floor all making for a great atmosphere. At just a couple of minutes walk away from Laughing Horse, it’d be a safe bet for a swift few before or after.
If this look into the Camden scene has intrigued you then I would suggest downloading the free app which Camden Council have recently released. It features a guided tour of the area with Madness front man Suggs as your guide! It also features some more information about what’s good to eat from chef Andy Bates. It’s really helpful if you’re new to the area, and equally to unearth some hidden gems!
You can download the app for free via itunes.