We're not sure if it counts towards one of your 5 a day, but a visit to the Banana Cabaret is absolutely essential to your wellbeing none-the-less! If you're looking for a top notch comedy club experience, look no further than the Bedford Arms Pub on Bedford Hill in hip, happening Balham. With a widespread reputation as one of the supreme comedy venues not just in London, but worldwide, an evening at the Banana will be guaranteed to have you chortling into your favourite pint.
The wacky brainchild of Dan Vickers and his team, the Banana Cabaret is held in very high esteem by comedians and audiences alike – which pretty much assures you a fantastic line up. And there's no mistaking that the Banana Cabaret has an incredible pedigree – such high profile comedians as Harry Hill, Al Murray - The Pub Landlord, Rich Hall, Adam Bloom, Jack Dee, Will Smith, Eddie Izzard, Catherine Tate, Rob Brydon, Omid Djalil and Frank Skinner have played, or even got their starts at the Banana. And boasting recent performers such as Perrier-winning Daniel Kitson, Marcus Brigstock & Stephen K Amos, the trend shows no sign of letting up.
The Banana Cabaret owes part of its charm to the venue itself, which helps foster the kind of laid back atmosphere that's a prerequisite for a successful comedy venue. The Bedford Arms, a huge old pub, was originally built to be a hotel way back in the 1830's. Inside the pub itself, plush chairs and roaring fireplaces create a warm, cosy atmosphere to settle down in with your favourite tipple. The Banana Cabaret itself takes place in the pub's crowning glory – the Shakespeare Globe Room – a huge octagonal room built to resemble a small scale model of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, complete with stage, wrap around tiered balconies and old world-y crests of arms. Surrounded by slightly kitsch, pseudo-medieval décor, immersed in a jovial, buzzy atmosphere, you're half-way to laughing your socks off already.
You can pre-book your tickets for Friday or Saturday night online, but it's also possible to show up on the night and pick up a standby ticket – but make sure you arrive early – this event regularly sells out. The Banana Cabaret event organizers recommend turning up at 8pm to find yourself a good seat, and grab a beer or two. The show itself runs from 9pm to 11pm, with food and drink served throughout. And at the end of the evening, if you're not ready to call it a night, you can stay on as the chairs and tables are cleared away to create a dancefloor where you can get your groove on until 2am to the musical stylings of DJ MonkeyFunk.
So if you're looking for a little pick-me-up at the end of a long, arduous work week, why not head on down and chance seeing some famously funny faces in the Banana Cabaret line up? Afterall, you know what they say - laughter is the best medicine!