News: Pleasance Islington announces socially distanced winter season

The Pleasance is reopening their London venue to bring some theatrical joy back for a seven-week winter season! Embracing the new normal, the venue has transformed its main house into London’s most exciting, socially distanced comedy, theatre and cabaret space. The new three-tier auditorium will welcome 100 people a night, bringing the spirit of the Fringe back to London.

The venue will follow up-to-date safety regulations with e-ticketing, enhanced cleaning and table service using the app Butlr to provide drinks as well as new pizzas from neighbours The Depot. The auditorium will open one hour before each performance to give audiences time to settle in and enjoy some pre-show drinks ensuring you can spend your whole evening at the venue in style. A trip to the Pleasance promises to be a fun and safe night out.

The reopening season will kick off with Godot is a Woman, the show that was in tech in the Downstairs studio when the venue was forced to close in March. The Pleasance’s commitment to their artists means this fantastic show from Associate Artists Silent Faces will now grace their Main House stage. Next Charles Court Opera, ‘The masters of Gilbert & Sullivan in small places’, are returning with Express G&S and will be making up for lost time by staging the complete works of Gilbert & Sullivan in just over an hour!

Following on from two acclaimed residencies with Sink The Pink, this year the Pleasance is welcoming the crème de la crème of London’s most acclaimed queer cabaret groups for a festive celebration of London’s drag, cabaret and performance scene. December gets off to a bang with acclaimed pan-Asian collective The Bitten Peach who are guaranteed to enchant with their Bedtime Stories, before all-female and non-binary theatre and cabaret company Pecs Drag Kings visit Pleasance for the first time with Pecs: Christmas Queer. Finally, the one and only Cocoa Butter Club close out the season and promise to decolonise and remoisturise in a brand-new Christmas revue, Gifted.

Anthony Alderson, Director of Pleasance Theatre Trust, comments, I’m thrilled that we are re-opening the London space and managing to bring theatre back to London audiences. We have put strict hygiene and cleanliness protocols in place and are making sure that your visit to the Pleasance is as safe as possible. The artists we work with are at the heart of what we do and so it feels particularly important that the season will commence with Silent Faces who were deep in rehearsals when Covid-19 hit. This re-opening season is all about bringing back that undefinable Fringe spirit that embodies all of us.

The programme is as follows (with comedy to be announced soon):

Silent Faces and Pleasance Theatre present
Godot is a Woman
By Silent Faces
11 – 15 November 2020

In 1953 a man wrote a play about waiting
In 1988 he sued five women for trying to perform it
In 2001 Madonna released ‘What it feels like for a girl’

It’s 2020; we all know what it’s like to wait. Waiting for banana bread, waiting for Boris Johnson’s announcements, waiting for permission from male playwrights to perform plays about the human condition. Today Ariana Grande tells us ‘God is a Woman’ and we decide we are done waiting. Samuel Beckett? Thank u, next.

Back with their trademark style of playful and political physical theatre following the critically acclaimed A Clown Show About Rain (‘Delightful’, The Scotsman) and Follow Suit (‘Marvellously comic and compelling’, The Stage), Pleasance London Associates Silent Faces make ensemble-led devised theatre and are proud to be an integrated company of disabled and non-disabled artists.

Charles Court Opera presents
Express G&S: The Complete Works of Gilbert & Sullivan – in 75 minutes!
Devised by John Savournin and David Eaton
17th – 22nd November 2020

All aboard the G&S express for the very model of a modern major mash up!

“The masters of G&S in small spaces” are coming out of lockdown with this brand new, inventive production that is sure to put a huge smile on your face. Get ready to be swept away from Penzance to Titipu, from Venice to the Tower of London, from Portsmouth to Fairyland, as Charles Court Opera takes on the ill advisable challenge of performing the complete works of Gilbert & Sullivan – in one night!

Bitten Peach presents
Bedtime Stories as part of the Pleasance Queer Christmas Cabaret Season
1st – 2nd December 2020

2020 might be a total nightmare, but this December you’ll be having some sweet dreams as you dive into The Bitten Peach Bedtime Stories!

London’s Premiere Pan-Asian Cabaret Collective comes together to present a special winter season showcase, featuring some of your favourite fairytales with a queer twist and the Bitten Peach’s signature Asian flavours.

Pecs Drag Kings presents
Pecs: Queer Christmas as part of the Pleasance Queer Christmas Cabaret Season
10th – 12th December 2020

The Kings of Pecs have been queerantined up in our castle but now it’s time to Pec the halls because we’re back in town and we want to spread the Christmas Queer.

Join us in our cosy cabaret grotto while we bring you some of our greatest festive hits, queermas tales and sexy socially distanced dances.

Put some Christmas Queer in your stocking filler!

The Cocoa Butter Club presents
Gifted as part of the Pleasance Queer Christmas Cabaret Season
15th – 17th December 2020

Ooo-wee, what did you wish for?

The Cocoa Butter Club presents Gifted – an exquisite cabaret evening of excellence; delivering dreams, desires and demands to the most deserving – that’s you!

Wrapped in your favourite RnB, Neo Soul and Old Skool jams, expect a homecoming feeling, as our family reunites to ‘decolonise and re-moisturise’! Issa generous serving of multi-skilled and highly melanated talent, boasting burlesque, drag, music, spoken word, circus arts and more!

To book tickets visit

Photo credit: Stephen Allwright

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