Where to Watch Comedy in Leeds

· Culture

From arenas to clubs and indie theatres, this is where you’ll find the laughter in Leeds.

Comedy at HiFi Club, Leeds

Fancy splitting your sides? Leeds is a hotbed of comedy and here’s where to see the best stand-ups.

A night out at the comedy in Leeds is a wonderful thing, whether it’s a stop-off for a household name on tour, an improv troupe making it up on the spot or stand-up newcomers showcasing fresh material. Leeds has brilliant venues to catch comedians in, from small rooms to grand arenas – so get yourself out there for a rib-tickling night out.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Leeds Grand Theatre

It’s not just travelling West End shows, opera and large-scale theatre productions at Leeds Grand – it’s long been a superb place to catch comedy too. Legends such as Jack Dee, Romesh Ranganathan, Dawn French and Jimmy Carr have graced the stage, and the atmosphere gets raucous when the comedian is on top form. Make sure you bag yourself a prime seat for comedy nights in the incredible surroundings of the Grand.

Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NZ.

City Varieties Music Hall

Leeds City Varieties

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The longest running music hall in Britain has, as you might expect, hosted some legendary comedy nights. Giants of the stature of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin have trod the boards here, and every new generation of comedian has had a chance to shine in this wonderful, atmospheric room. Recent years have seen appearances from Maisie Adam, Nish Kumar and Ed Byrne, while Paul Merton’s improv ensemble are regular visitors.

City Varieties Music Hall, Swan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LW.

The HiFi Club

Comedy at HiFi Club Leeds

A reliably brilliant night out, The Comedy Club at The HiFi has been packing them in on Saturday nights for over 20 years. It kicks off at 6.30pm every week, runs until 10.30pm and is one of the best comedy nights Leeds has to offer. For £15 you’ll get to see four stand-ups, with a mix of familiar names and up-and-comers. It’s an approach that has seen the likes of Chris Ramsey, John Bishop and Sarah Millican perform to packed rooms here.

The HiFi Club, 2 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.

Carriageworks Theatre

Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds

One of the great pleasures of catching comedy shows at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds is how intimate it is. As one of the smaller venues serving up laughs in the city, performers can foster a real bond with the audience – whether that’s through interaction or just charging up the atmosphere. It’s a popular venue with improvisers, who make the most of the room’s intimacy, but stand-ups like Troy Hawke have done their thing here too.

Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD.

First Direct Arena

First Direct Arena

Credit: Ant Longstaff Photography

As you might imagine, the First Direct Arena hosts many of the biggest comedy names as they come through Leeds. Far from intimate, it’s a place for stars to really shine, with fan favourites such as Bill Bailey, Steve Coogan, John Bishop and Peter Kay selling out the 13,500 capacity venue. For new comedians who haven’t yet hit the stratosphere, there’s the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club in the bar on Fridays – your chance to see tomorrow’s stars.

First Direct Arena, Arena Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BY.


Comedy Cabaret Pryzm

For a comedy gig with a difference, head down to Pryzm every Saturday night. The Leeds super club is home to Comedy Cabaret, where performers both famous and fledgling perform – they gave early shows to Alan Carr and John Bishop – before you get to club on until 3am the next day. Doors open at 7pm, the show starts at 8pm, and you’re guaranteed to see at least three stand-ups before the dance party kicks into gear.

Pryzm, 16-18 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8LX.

Seven Arts

Seven Arts Leeds

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Seven Arts does a little bit of a lot very well indeed. It’s an arts space that’s at home with jazz gigs, exhibitions and all sorts – with comedy gigs aplenty thrown into the mix. Silky hosts a monthly comedy night, where you might get 3 or 4 stand-ups, while lovers of improv should grab a ticket for The Discount Comedy Checkout. This award-winning show takes audience suggestions to head off in unexpected and hilarious directions.

Seven Arts, 31A Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3PD.

Otley Courthouse

Otley Courthouse

The Otley Courthouse is a gem of a place, with an eclectic range of programming that means there’s always something intriguing coming up. That usually includes comedy – they’ve had venerable chuckle generators like Robin Ince and Paul Sinha performing. As well as stars on tour, they also have a regular night called The Comedy Network, which pulls together jokesmiths who’ve done Live at the Apollo, the Edinburgh Fringe and more.

Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3AN.

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe had long been a friend to the comedy scene in Leeds, and it hosts one of the longest-running nights out in the city – the House of Fun Comedy Club. The alumni of this ever-popular night include Stewart Lee, Reginald D Hunter and Russell Howard, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Tickets go fast, but book early and you might enjoy Guz Khan polishing a work in progress or a podcast star taking to the stage. Watch out for Leeds Comedy Festival too.

The Wardrobe, 6 St Peter’s Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH.

O2 Academy Leeds

02 Academy Leeds

Not too big, not too small, O2 Academy Leeds is the perfect size for a comedy gig. With a capacity of 2,300, there’s always a great buzz when a comedian rolls into town, and the venue has welcomed Doug Stanhope and Jon Richardson among many other notables. They also run The Comedy Store night – the legendary London showcase makes the occasional foray into Yorkshire. Keep your eyes on the O2 site for details of who’s coming.

O2 Academy Leeds, 55 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AW.

Leeds Playhouse

Leeds Playhouse Open Weekend

Leeds Playhouse has always been committed to comedy, with stars like Harry Hill popping by even when it was still called the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Recent years have seen Frank Skinner, Stewart Lee and Richard Stott delighting local crowds, whether it’s in the Bramall Rock Void or the larger Quarry Theatre. Comedy doesn’t come that often to the Playhouse these days, but when it does, it’s usually a hot ticket.

Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7UP.

The Original Oak

The House of Fun at Original Oak

This Headingley landmark is over 150 years old now, and is a favourite with both students and locals who flock here for the beer, great garden, sports screens and, of course, comedy. It’s the other Leeds venue for House of Fun, and has a great mix of established comics and names to look out for in the future. Lucky Quip is the new material night, with semi-pro and circuit comedians trying out new material – it’s a bargain at around £3 per ticket.

The Original Oak, 2 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2DG.

The Fenton

The Fenton Pub

A truly atmospheric boozer, The Fenton is all nooks and crannies, dark wood and fab beer. It also loves to tickle your funny bone, with a regular new act and new material night called Funny Up The Fenton. It’s free entry – although you can pay what you feel if you want to support the night and the comedians. Fancy trying your hand on the other side of the mic? The Discount Comedy Checkout run a beginner’s improvisation course here too.

The Fenton, 161-165 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3ED.

Hyde Park Book Club

Hyde Park Book Club

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A brilliantly relaxed environment in which to watch comedy, Hyde Park Book Club manages to attract some great and irreverent stand-ups to Leeds. It also gives space to some fringe nights with fierce followings. The room is on the small side, so act fast when they announce shows from award winners and TV stars, but you should know this is the place to see the next big thing and viral sensations.

Hyde Park Book Club, 27-29 Headingley Lane, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1BL.

The Old Woollen

Old Woollen

The Old Woollen is a fab Farsley events space tucked away at the historic Sunny Bank Mills. It has striking decor, its own beers (as well as guest ales) and regular comedy gigs. Comedy at The Old Woollen takes place monthly on Saturday evenings, with £12.50 getting you three comics drawn from the likes of Live at the Apollo and popular TV shows. In early summer, expect Edinburgh comedy previews as comics hone their material.

The Old Woollen, Farsley Constitutional Club, Sunny Bank MIlls, 83-85 Town Street, Farsley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.