Bristol’s Comedy Scene: The Venues and Nights You Should Know About

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Stand-up shows, improv sessions, and up-and-coming talent in comedy; Bristol's comedy scene is bubbling over.

Who doesn’t like to laugh? Well, obviously you do - otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on a link with the world ‘Comedy’ in the title...

Like any major city, Bristol plays host to some of the biggest names in stand up, so you’ll never go without laughter there.

Plus, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; Bristol is bubbling with creativity, and it has thrown up some big names on the comedy scene - Lee Evans, Russell Howard and Stephen Merchant, to name just three! These guys had to start somewhere, so we also sought out the smaller stages where budding comedians are cutting their teeth.

We all need laughter in our lives, and if you’re in Bristol, we’ve got you covered; below is a list of venues (big and small) as well as dedicated comedy nights so that you can always get a fix:

Bristol Beacon

 Trenchard St, Bristol BS1 5AR

This obviously isn’t a picture of Britol Beacon. What would be funny about that? Its just a building.

I’ts whats goes on inside that counts: The main drive behind Bristol Beacon is music, and music education, but take a look at their calendar and you’ll find that they take comedy seriously here; it’s absolutely littered with events to make you laugh.

Just one month will see visits from Daniel Sloss, Tom Allen and Ross Noble, and the venue holds regular comedy cinema screenings (not your average Hollywood comedies - the kind of comedy films wed never heard of, so you can feel all smug and call yourself a comedy connoisseur!). 

What’s more, 2024 means the 20th anniversary of The Slapstick Festival!; you can expect to see Hugh Bonneville, Harry Hill, Time Vine and many more (including the ghost of the GOAT himself - Mr Charlie Chaplin)!

The Comedy Store comes to Redgrave Theatre

Redgrave Theatre, Percival Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LE

Put. These. Dates in your diary. NOW! The Comedy Store is legendary on the British comedy scene, and it’s coming to Redgrave Theatre in Bristol.

For nearly 40 years The Comedy Store has been nurturing new comedic talent - the likes of Eddie Izzard, Jimmy Carr and Sarah Millican have appeared on the bill before they were famous, so it seems likely that you’ll see some rising stars on the circuit before they make a name for themselves.

You can book tickets here for a measly £18.75 (imagine seeing Eddie Izzard for under twenty quid!).

Bristol Improv Theatre

50 Saint Pauls Road, Bristol, BS8 1LP

Improv(isation) is hard, especially improv that’s truly funny (22 Jump Street, anyone?), but if there’s somewhere to find the good stuff, it’s here, at the UK’s first full-time dedicated improv theatre, which grew out of a network of local groups coming together in 2012.

This is the place where they flex their funny muscles, and not only do they host improv troupes from across the UK and abroad; they also nurture homegrown talent, with Improv Drop-Ins, Gyms and Taster Sessions for anyone looking to dip their toe or dive right in to the training ground of funny people. We can’t really tell you what to expect except laughter!

Check out upcoming shows here!

The Room Above

133 St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8BS

In a room above (get it?) the historic White Bear pub on St. Michael’s Hill, the team at The Room Above have turned this hidden gem into a hub of comedic talent, with a mission to bring affordable live comedy to Bristol’s city centre.

Tickets are often (and we mean OFTEN) as low as £5, with some shows even being free (donations welcome, of course), and if you’re serious about comedy, this is the place to be.

Every single week you can see The White Bear Comedy Club, the Bristol Comedy Room and the Bristol Comedy Cave, and that’s before you take notice of all the visiting names (some well-know, some up-and-coming); this is where they come to work on their craft, to test out material, but most of all to make you laugh.

If, for some wierd reason, we had to pick one place for comedy in Bristol, this would be it. You can check out what’s on here.

Smoke & Mirrors Comedy & Magic Bar

8 Denmark Street Bristol BS1 5DQ

From the outside, Smoke & Mirrors is a classic traditional pub with an intriguing name...Follow that intrigue and you’ll be transported back to the 1920’s where a secret underground theatre plays host to live music, magic and weekly comedy night ‘Jokes & Mirrors’ (who doesn’t love a pun?!).

Every Monday nght comidiennes Jessie Nixon and Dani Johns compere and host up-and-coming comedians and established circuit pros (previous visitors include Russells Howard and Kane, Jon Richardson, Alan Carr, Rob Beckectt and Romesh Ranganathan. This place is even for it’s Endinburgh Festival preview shows (which you’ll definitely want to book in advance!)

The Comedy Cabaret at Bristol PRYZM

The South Buildings, Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5UH

Instead of (or as well as!) laughing at your mates before hitting the dancefloor, why not guaruntee a good time with the professionals? Every Saturday PRYZM nightclub hosts three or more comedians, including one award-winning headliner!

The guys behind Comedy Cabaret aren’t joking around (ironically...) when it comes to their comedians; they also organise the English, Scottish and Irish Comedian of the Year competitions, travelling around the UK to find and deliver the cream of the crop, including Lee Nelson, Kevin Bridges, and John Bishop.

After the show every ticket holder has full access to the 3am Pryzm Nightclub. You can book those tickets here.

Tuesday Comedy Club at The Lazy Dog

112 Ashley Down Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9JR

Every Monday (just joking) The Lazy Dog brings you the best comics in Bristol and the Southwest. The core comedic team is comprised of Julia Stenton, Jeremy Flynn, Greg Winfield, Burt Williamson, Luke Honnoraty, Charlie Bowers and Firuz Ozari. Every week these homegrown heroes and circuit stars bring you brand new, never before seen material (plus the occasional guest) for the ludicrously lean price of £3! 

Get your tickets here.

This Next Act at Kingsdown Vaults

29-31 Kingsdown Parade, Bristol BS6 5UE

Every Sunday local legend Greg Winfield invites pros to try out new material and less-experienced comedians to polish their sets in this intimate pub (tucked away in Kingsdown between Stokes Croft and St Michaels Hill). The show starts at 8PM and it’s always free - see you there!

Hen and Chicken

210 North Street, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1JF

Among its many live events, Hen & Chicken hosts around three comedic shows a week, and tickets start at around £15 for shows of 2+ hours from veterans like Pierre Novellie, Ignacio Lopez and Jarred Christmas. Get your tickets here, and if you’re hankering for some more laughter you can check out the promoters from The Comedy Box for more listings.