The Comedy Store, Piccadilly Circus, London
One of the most famous comedy venues in the world, the Comedy Store has played host to some of the biggest names on the circuit for many years. Its opening in 1985 capitalised on the boom in the 80s appetite for alternative comedy. As the old-style stand-up comedians who relied on jokes about their mother-in-laws and people from different countries fell out of favour, a new breed of comedians took to the stage of the Store to bring satire, story-telling and surrealism to eager comedy audiences.
History of the venue
When it opened in the 80s, the Comedy Store wasn’t based at the location it now inhabits. Its original venue was on Leicester Square, where the original comedy teams were established to bring in the crowds. Not unlike clubs that have resident DJs or house bands, the Comedy Store had resident comedians from a variety of genres that included a number of names that went on to become famous in the world of comedy and beyond.
The original line-up of the Comedy Store Players, an improvisational group who performed regular sets at the Store, included well-known British comedian Paul Merton, whose involvement with the store continues to this day. Also in that first troupe was one Mike Myers, who most people will know from hugely successful comedy films such as Wayne’s World and the Austin Powers movies
.In the 1990s, the growth in satirical and political comedy led to the Store setting up a resident group called The Cutting Edge. The comedians in this group, including stand-up and political activist Mark Thomas, brought back some of the edgy alternative comedy for which the club had originally become famous in the early 80s when the likes of Ben Elton took to the stage.
In the early 1990s, the Comedy Store moved from its Leicester Square venue to its current purpose-built location on Oxendon Street near Piccadilly Circus. Many of the stalwarts of the Store remain closely involved with the regular shows there, and The Cutting Edge and the Comedy Store Players take to the stage weekly to continue the tradition on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Sunday respectively.
The Store also has a strong reputation for putting on some of the biggest names in comedy and hosts events that allow comedy to contribute to important causes. October sees Jo Brand lead an all-star line-up in Shake with Laughter for Parkinson’s UK, where a large percentage of the £15 ticket price will be donated to charity. In November, it’s Bill Bailey’s turn to bring the charity laughs with a night of stand-up with stellar acts in support of the Abandoned and Destitute Children’s Appeal Fund.
With its huge international reputation for comedy, the Store has a motto to expect the unexpected. Whatever night you choose to go, there’s every chance you could get more than you bargained for, with world-famous comedians popping in to take to the stage on any given night. With the likes of Eddie Izzard, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Michael McIntyre popping in and joining the line-up for the evening to entertain the crowd.
With a world renowned reputation and some of the biggest names in comedy, you’re guaranteed a great night at the Comedy Store. Offering ticket prices at a much lower cost than the majority of West End shows, you’ll have the opportunity to get a great night out and enjoy some of the best comedy and still be able to afford your night bus at the end of the evening. Take a chance on booking for any evening and you never know who you might end up seeing!