Oliva Coleman. © Idil Sukan.

LONDON - On a damp grey day in London one needs a little laughter to lighten the mood, and This Comedian (on view until 8th March) offers the perfect remedy. Nestled in the basement vaults of The Embassy Tea Gallery in Southwark, London-based photographer Idil Sukan’s  first solo show features hundreds of images celebrating some of the most recognisable names (and faces!) in the theatre, film and comedy world, all shot over the past five years.

Michael Fassbender & Tom Hiddleston © Idil Sukan.

Sukan’s work in the entertainment world has brought her in front of some of the most famous faces – from Ruby Wax and Julian Clary to John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender – and in 2013 her stunning portrait of Celia Imrie, one of Britain’s best loved stars of stage and screen was purchased by the National Portrait Gallery, London for permanent display (quite an achievement for a photographer only just into her 30s).

Celia Imrie. © Idil Sukan.

This Comedian explores the idea of what it means to call yourself a comedian – the confidence to stand in front of complete strangers and make them laugh. Cutting her teeth at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sukan has been allowed unprecedented access backstage, and her photos give us a very funny, very intimate glimpse into the this fascinating world.

Michael Gambon. © Idil Sukan.

Sukan’s eye is sharp, witty and utterly original, and is surely one to watch for the future. But for now, a trip to this brilliant little show is a sure way to bring a little sunshine to a grey February day.

Terry Gilliam. © Idil Sukan.