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First date in London? Stand-up shows instead of a stoop up

Comedian Fiona Ridgewell never went on a date until she was 31 — it's silly, but in many long-term relationships, it's somehow not accepted. How do you check a match for compatibility? If you laugh at the same thing, there's a 100% you'll become friends — in bed and outside. That's why Fiona's idea for a date night in London is simply a standup show. Here's a guide to London's iconic and underground standup spots. 

Yes, stand up comedy is where it's at. Like so many people who've met online, you've probably exchanged a ridiculous amount of messages that were probably riddled with laughing emojis, gifs and too many lol's. You've assumed you make each other laugh and have a cracking sense of humour. Well lets put that to the test in a comedy club. The environment suits a date, there's booze, a couple of breaks to get to know one another and dim lighting to get rid of all those self conscious anxieties that build up on a date. Aside from the set up, the actual action of laughing feels good, it releases nervous energy and tension so that you can be relaxed and open on a date. I don't know about you, but whenever anyone asks me what I want from a partner I always say "someone with a sense of humour, who can make me laugh". So my personal date ideas for London would all be about laughing. Anything for a laugh — with a possibly serious outcome. A comedy club takes that pressure off, someone else will make you laugh  but now you'll associate that laughter with your date and vice versa. Laughter forms connection, it  makes you feel good and science proves it — it releases endorphins. Not only does it release this  chemical, ensuring you leave the date on a high — it gives an insight into who someone is and creates a window into their world view. Laughter is a instinctive reaction to something, so if a comic tells a dark joke and you're date is doubled over laughing then that says something about who they are and what they think about the world. A fun date night at a comedy club is not only a recipe for a successful date but an opportunity to gather data on this potential suitor. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself, below are my recommendations for the best comedy clubs for your perfect date night in London.

Angel Comedy: fun date on a budget

A pay what you want comedy night, for those serial daters looking for an affordable night out. Angel comedy gives professional comedians a chance to air their new ideas, new comedians a chance to perform infront of a big crowd — there’s every possibility you could witness someone trying stand up for the first time.

The Bill Murray: a real quality laughter 

For comedy fans, as well as their world famous pro nights, they have hour shows by comics off the tele. This is a purpose built club ran by comedians, it’s a real community of people and you’ll feel like you’re part of something special.

The Comedy Store: vote for jokes

A mixed bill of pro comics at a purpose built comedy club in the centre of London. Nothing beats 400 people laughing at any one moment. My first performance at the comedy store was at their world famous King Gong. It’s every last Monday of the month. A gladiator style comedy night where 20 comedians go up on stage and try and survive 5 minutes whilst the audience have the power to vote them off.

The Boat Show: Tuesday night date

Comedy with a twist, a night of laughter on the Thames! The boat is moored for those of you that are worried about being out at sea on an awkward first date. Tuesday nights are new material nights so you could see the likes of Micky Flanagan preparing for their next tour show.

Outside the box: authentic fun

A superb night of comedy ran by a fantastic comedian. Maff Brown runs a brilliant club, with a mixture of hour preview shows and compilation shows. At these nights I’ve performed with some of my favourite comedians including Romesh Ranganathan, Kevin Bridges, Phil Wang and Sara Pascoe.

Vauxhall comedy club: laughter and trendy bars

Located in a trendy hub right next to Vauxhall station with street food and bars. They do bottomless brunch shows for those comedy fans who like a good knees up. Yes, that's your perfect date night. Romantic restaurants and fancy bars dubbed with great jokes all in walking distance in this area of London. 

And few extra honourable mentions for your date night in London:

  • Top Secret Comedy Club. Great comedy bills with TV names and affordable booze. Runs 7 nights a week, with shows scheduled from 6 till late.
  • Always Be Comedy. If you sign up to the mailing list, you can plan your date so it collides with the night your favourite acts are on.
  • The 99 club. Likely to recognise almost every act from off the tele, leaving your date starstruck.

The comedians aren't funny? Saved your date: it's a reason to laugh. 

Even if in the worst case scenario you go to one of these nights and don't so much as crack a smile, then at least you'll have a story to tell. A unique experience shared  between the two of you on that one night, that can never be replicated. You'll recall the time you both sat in silence and how awkward it was to watch a now famous Fiona Ridgewell die for 20 minutes straight. I'm joking! The chances of me becoming famous are lower than your date turning into forever. I wish you luck on your quest for love and hope to see you in a comedy club soon!

Photos: 3 – The Comedy Store, 4 – The Boat Show Comedy Club , 5 – Outside the Box Comedy Show , 6 – VauxhallComedyClub.

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