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Best night out in London | Theatre, Gigs and Cabarets

Looking for the best night out in London? I’ve created a round-up of some of the best London Theatre, gigs and Cabarets around, featuring a few additional recommendations from some of my fellow travel bloggers. Whether you prefer theatre shows, live music or a raunchy Burlesque, here are a few ideas to get you started on planning your best night out in London!

Best night out in London | Theatre, gigs and Cabarets

Best night out in London

Where do you start planning your best night out in London? I usually like the check where the best live music in London is by checking websites such as Timeout magazine or design my night. You can check listings in a huge variety of bars and clubs to suit your musical tastes. For the best West End Theatre shows, I tend to check out theatre deals on Encore Tickets, to bag myself a Broadway bargain. For London comedy nights, I tend to check out listings on Chortle.

The Little Orchestra

The Little Orchestra, recommended by a pair of passports. Whether you’re a classical music aficionado or just enjoy the occasional listen, The Little Orchestra makes for a great night out in London. The group performs 4-5 weekend a year at venues throughout London and created an incredibly fun and welcoming atmosphere. Their goal is to provide an intimate and chilled out atmosphere, the complete opposite of the old-school, stuffy concert halls people traditionally think of when they listen to classical music.

The conductor, Nicholas Little, walks the audience through every piece, providing background and pointing out specific points that the listener should keep an ear out for. You don’t have to know anything about classical music going into a show, but you’re bound to learn something while you’re there! With food and drinks available before and after the show, these concerts are a great place to spend an entire evening, and a great alternative date night if you’re looking to try something new!

Live music in Camden

Camden has long been an iconic music hotspot, with many big acts such as the late Amy Winehouse, starting their careers in this quirky town. There is a huge range of open mic nights and gigs that cater to a range of musical tastes. Camden is the place to see live music in London!

Best night out in London | Theatre, gigs and Cabarets

Spend a few nights exploring some of the best live music venues here including The Dublin Castle, rock venue The Monarch, landmark venue KOKO and the very essence of Camden, the Electric Ballroom. 

Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre

Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre, recommended by Natpacker. For me, nothing beats seeing a Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre in London. The theatre is a reconstruction of a 16th-century theatre, well as close as can be. There is no roof, the theatre is open to the elements, but whatever the weather, it’s always fun. I always get standing tickets (only £5), this is the best way to see Shakespeare. Standing you are part of the ‘pheasant rabble’ of Shakespeare’s day. The atmosphere is great, you really get into the play. You are close to the action and often the actors interact with the ‘rabble’. Since the first time I went to the Globe, I developed a new love for Shakespeare plays. Although it takes me some time to ‘tune into’ the language, the simple sets, powerful monologues and being part of the ‘16th century mosh pit’ make seeing a play here a great experience. It’s like stepping back into Shakespeare’s London.
Best night out in London | Theatre, gigs and Cabarets

02 Academy, Brixton

02 Academy, Brixton, recommended by Faramagan. A mere 5-minute walk from David Bowie’s childhood home is the 02 Academy, Brixton. Big name bands and intimate gig venue rarely go hand in hand in London, but the 02 Academy offers just that. Set in an Art-Deco theatre, it is a thrilling experience to be sitting in the dress circle and witness your favourite indie bands take to the stage. 

Best night out in London | Theatre, gigs and Cabarets

Despite the venue’s capacity considered small for London, some huge names have played over the years including Madonna, Eric Clapton, The Sex Pistols, Debbie Harry and Iron Maiden. From the old fashioned theatre seats to the grand domed entrance – it is such an exciting experience watching the latest music in such historic surroundings! Despite it often hosting musical legends, I also recommend heading there if you’ve no idea who’s on the bill as chances are you’ll see the next big name in music before anyone else!

Burlesque show London

If you are looking for a rather risque evening, make sure to check out some of the best burlesque shows in London. Burlesque is a little bit of naughty and night with raunchy costumes and tantalising dances.
Best night out in London | Theatre, gigs and Cabarets
There are many Burlesque shows in London and some of the best burlesque venues include Proud City, Gin-House Burlesque and Cellar Door’s High Tea & Tease night. There are also several venues that put on special burlesque events throughout the year such as the Courtesan bar and restaurant in Brixton, who have a roster of steamy burlesque nights for your viewing pleasure.
Best night out in London | Theatre, gigs and Cabarets

Why not book a nightlife tour in London?

London West End Shows

There’s nothing quite seeing a theatre show in London. Lonon’s West End is one of the best places to see theatre in the world. Enjoy some of London’s best musicals in beautiful old theatres full of history and character. If you are wondering what shows are on in the West End, there is actually a huge variety of shows in London. Some of the best West End shows include Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, the book of Mormon at Prince of Wales Theatre and the wildly popular Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre.

If musicals aren’t quite your bag then there are a whole host of London plays in the West End. Some of the more popular West End plays include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at Piccadilly Theatre and All about Eve at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Best night out in London | Theatre, Gigs and Cabarets

Barbican Arts Centre

The Barbican Arts Centre, recommended by Delve into Europe. The Barbican Arts Centre in the middle of the Brutalist concrete estate of the same name has long been one of my favourite places to go for a night out in London. The setting is like something out of A Clockwork Orange, but it’s the largest arts centre in London – a city hardly short of them – and one of the best I’ve visited anywhere in the world. I’ve been to several photography exhibitions there and seen many films at the cinema. However, the main pull for me has always been contemporary music: they’ve always managed to book some of the best touring bands and performers for their London gig. The auditorium is quite small and intimate, with the audience in a semicircle around the stage. Some of the performances I’ve seen there down the years include Neko Case, Low, a revival of the pioneering German 1970s band Neu! and a number of great African singers and bands, including Oumou Sangare, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou and the sadly-missed Staff Benda Bilili from Kinshasa in Congo.

London Comedy nights

Some of the best comedy nights in London are often in the smaller and quirkier venues. Whilst there are plenty of iconic venues staging some of the best comedians around there are also many secret underground London comedy clubs and old school haunts. or cheap laughs head along to Laugh Out London comedy club for some of the most reasonably priced alternative comedy nights. For popular comedians on the circuit try the popular Covent Garden Comedy Club. They have a well-earned reputation for booking the finest comedy acts that are hot on the scene right now.

Best night out in London | Theatre, Gigs and Cabarets

For an authentic comedy experience why not try The Top Secret Comedy Club, the UK’s highest-rated comedy club. It takes place on Drury lane every weekend and is guaranteed to give you the giggles. For ‘top end’ laughs try the iconic Comedy Store, located smack bang in London’s West End. This iconic venue sees several thousand people every week come through the doors to enjoy the best comedians around.

Best night out in London | Theatre, Gigs and Cabarets

London Cabaret Shows

A good cabaret show is more than just titillating, it brings together ideas around gender, identity, politics and sex in a dazzling display. Some of the best cabaret shows in London combine several of these elements into an entertaining evening performance.  The London Cabaret Club combines the quintessential British fine dining experience with an innovative, interactive cabaret show.

Best night out in London | Theatre, Gigs and Cabarets

Try the London Cabaret Club for a delightful combination of innovative cabaret and fine dining. Located in Holborn this cabaret sure is sure to both satisfy your inner foodie and ignite your cabaret desires. For some elusive and underground cabaret be sure to hunt down Rumour Mill. Based at a top secret location in Hackney, there are circus displays, dancing and a bit of cheeky burlesque thrown in to boot.

Best night out in London | Theatre, Gigs and Cabarets

What is your Best night out in London? What else should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Looking for the best night out in London? I've created a round-up of some of the best Theatre gigs and Cabarets around so you can have the ultimate night out in London wheher you are a fan of comedy, cabaret or live music. #London #nightout #Londongigs #UKTravel #UK #Live Music

Looking for the best night out in London? I've created a round-up of some of the best Theatre gigs and Cabarets around so you can have the ultimate night out in London wheher you are a fan of comedy, cabaret or live music. #London #nightout #Londongigs #UKTravel #UK #Live Music

Looking for the best night out in London? I've created a round-up of some of the best Theatre gigs and Cabarets around so you can have the ultimate night out in London wheher you are a fan of comedy, cabaret or live music. #London #nightout #Londongigs #UKTravel #UK #Live Music

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Pip Jones
Pip Jones

Pip Jones is a UK travel blogger, freelance writer and travel contributor for BBC Radio. She has been shortlisted for at the Visit Holland Press Awards for Travel Journalism. Also shortlisted for a Vuelio blogging award and the UK Post Office Travel blogger of the year. She can normally be found drinking wine, typing an article and taking a selfie all at the same time.

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