For those who have missed a laugh during lockdown the Pleasance Theatre has the answer with a stellar re-opening season of stand-up, drag and musicals.

The venue in Carpenters Mews, Islington throws open its doors on May 17 with a blistering two month programme including a Comedy Comeback season featuring live sets by Rob Beckett, Bridget Christie, Sindhu Vee, Rich Hall and Phil Wang.

Hackney Gazette: Rob BeckettRob Beckett (Image: Archant)

There's also EXPRESS G&S: The complete works of Gilbert & Sullivan in 75 minutes by locals Charles Court Opera; an exploration of permission, patriarchy and pop music by physical theatre company Silent Faces in Godot is a Woman; topical news show Laughable Live, and The Pleasance’s drag sweetheart Ginger Johnson in all-singing, all-dancing cabaret The Producers! (No, not that one) in aid of the Theatre Artists Fund.

Hackney Gazette: Godot is a Woman by Silent Faces is part of the reopening seasonGodot is a Woman by Silent Faces is part of the reopening season (Image: Archant)

And to "help set theatre up to thrive once again" the Pleasance is partnering with VAULT Creative Arts on a Fringe Futures Festival to present work-in-progress shows - giving early career performers the chance to try out work in front of a live audience.

The festival runs jointly in the newly-configured Pleasance Downstairs and a new pop up performance space in Waterloo. Meanwhile the main house will have Covid-friendly table service for drinks from the bar and pizzas from neighbours The Depot, and enhanced cleaning and sanitising.

The season kicks off with the The NextUp Relaunch Party featuring six different stand-up comics returning to the stage for the first time in months. Expect tears of joy and laughter as they banish the memory of the pandemic with a raucous night out. Joel Dommett, Joe Thomas, Fern Brady, Sarah Keyworth, Nabil Abdulrashid, Rachel Fairburn, Catherine Bohart, Jamie D’Souza and Sophie Duker are also on the comedy comeback bill.

Hackney Gazette: Ginger Johnson and Pals take part in the Pleasance reopening seasonGinger Johnson and Pals take part in the Pleasance reopening season (Image: Archant)

Pleasance Theatres Trust director Anthony Alderson said: "We can’t wait to get back into our Islington space and welcome audiences through our doors. We exist to entertain audiences, to support the amazing artists we work with and most importantly to fuel the UK’s vibrant arts scene. We think we are doing all that with our reopening season!"

The season runs May 17-July 14 bookings at