But I’m not following comedians on their nationwide UK tours, playing night after night in a different city or town in a thousand seat arenas. Instead, I’m opting for much more low-key, intimate works in progress.
Being lucky enough to see top comedians such as Jack Dee, Alan Davies and Frank Skinner with only dozens of other people is something special for any comedy enthusiast.
Small theatres up and down the country play host to new material from mainstream and up and coming comedians. My favourite is the Pleasance Theatre on North London’s Caledonian Road, tucked away on a back street above a pub. The intimate atmosphere, purse friendly prices for shows and drinks guarantee audiences and comedians to keep coming back to the 20 year old theatre.
Works in progress are more spontaneous and unpredictable, with the comedian not knowing which topics will work well and which won’t ever see the light of day again. Comedians don’t yet have the ‘perfect’ set, so don’t expect to be laughing throughout the show at every joke – rather, you’ll see how the cog fits the wheel, and the audience’s reaction to new material.
Also, when people ask, “What did you get up to last night?” It’s rare to be able to say, “Me and 50 other people spent the night with Micky Flanagan.”