Sure, you can see a comedian from half a mile away at an arena. But if you’re quick (and very lucky) you can bag a ticket to a pre-tour warm-up gig in an intimate venue for a fraction of the price. Over the next few months many big-name comedy stars are workshopping material at small London venues. At the Pleasance in Islington Michael McIntyre, Micky Flanagan, Simon Amstell, Jon Richardson and Sean Hughes are all testing jokes. Amstell can also be seen at Camden’s 60-seat The Invisible Dot. South of the river at BAC, surreal one-liner merchant Milton Jones tries new material. And at the Soho Theatre you can see everyone’s favourite grumpster Jack Dee, in the basement space. The material will be ropey, but with tickets between £5-£15, who’s complaining? And if a show’s sold out, keep an eye on the @TimeOut_Comedy Twitter – they’ll be doing their best to let you know of any extra dates or last minute ticket releases.