Eighty-seat performance space the New Red Lion opens in Islington today (18 October 2010), located round the corner from its parent venue, pub theatre the Old Red Lion.

The new venue, situated in what used to be the Offside Bar and Gallery on City Road, launches under the guidance of the Old Red Lion’s new team of artistic directors, Henry Filloux-Bennett, Stephen Makin and Kellie Spooner, who took over from Helen Devine in June.

According to press material: “The New Red Lion will bring a unique innovation to the London Fringe. Programmed by themed seasons, the interior auditorium and food and drinks menu will be completely redesigned and rebuilt according to each season's theme, providing a constantly changing environment custom-created to support the work on stage.”

The opening season will see the space “transformed into a retro chic 1970s comedy club, decked out with little red candles and a kaleidoscope of kitsch”.

The first production is Tacit Theatre's staging of Justin Butcher’s Scaramouche Jones (until 13 November), which will be followed by a programme of stand-up comedy nights, sketch shows and plays - including Rachel Halliwell’s Deidre and Me (16-18 November).

Comedians scheduled to appear include Richard Herring, Lenny Henry, Dan Antopoloski, Imran Yusuf, Abandoman and Sara Pascoe.

Co-artistic director Henry Filloux-Bennett said: “We are thrilled to introduce Islington to the New Red Lion, a new kind of performance space that will be totally transformed every season, and look forward to both venues leading the way as homes for exciting and ambitious work.”