It's been a horrible winter. Between the four hours of sunlight, feeble attempts to burn off the festive excess and the seeming omnipresence of Donald Trump, laughs have been hard to come by. But at least we've got comedy. Check out this line-up of funny gigs coming up.
Yuriko Kotani: Work in Progress at Pleasance Theatre, Islington
Winner of BBC's Radio New Comedy Award, Yuriko Kotani is trying out her new material this month and it'll cost you just a fiver to see it. Listen to her brilliantly awkward observations of life in the UK as a Japanese woman, recounted with her typically deadpan delivery. Carpenter’s Mews, North Road, N7 9EF. February 26, 7.45pm. £5.
Helen Thorn at Hen & Chickens Theatre, Islington
Helen Thorn, the notoriously brash parenting icon from the Scummy Mummies podcast fame, is trialling her Thorny Questions show before heading back to her native Australia to take on the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Expect a whole host of self-deprecating sketches as she tackles first-world problems, such as that time she found yesterday’s knickers in her jeans on the school run. Hen & Chickens, 109 St Paul’s Road, N1. February 27, 7pm, £8.50.
Comedy Grotto at The Star Of Kings, King's Cross
Is there anything that the Star of Kings doesn’t do? Nights such as 'Laundry to Do Music To' and a horror book club are a regular feature, yet the jewel in the crown is undeniably the bi-weekly Comedy Grotto night. You can literally laugh all the way to the bank with its free entry (yet do note the suggested donation for a fantastic cause) and award-winning talent in the shape of Kevin Eldon, of 'Brass Eye' and 'I'm Alan Partridge' fame, amongst others. 126 York Way, King's Cross, N1 0AX. February 28, 8pm, free entry with suggested donations for Syria Refugee Relief
Pickle Boy Comedy at Howling Hops, Hackney Wick
Want to witness history in the making? Howling Hops, the UK’s 'first dedicated tank bar', is hosting a timed pickled egg Guinness World Record extravaganza with attempts to scoff three pickled eggs in 34.5 seconds. The challenge is a part of the Pickle Boy Comedy residency. But if you don’t fancy stuffing your cheeks with pickled eggs, you’ve got the option of Billy Smokes BBQ. Unit 9A Queen's Yard, White Post Ln, E9 5EN. March 8, 8pm, £8.