Big-name comedians once again brought laughs, cackles and crowds in their hundreds to Greenwich after another headline festival of comedy.

The Greenwich Comedy Festival returned to the borough last week after over a decade of comedy, and this year's Covid-concentrated performances under sun, cloud and torrential downpour went down like a storm with its audiences.

South east London residents will be used to a giant marquee and stage popping up each September in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum, and this year's event saw some of the most recognisable faces from British TV take to the stage again in Greenwich.

The finale of the comedy festival also happened to coincide with a yellow weather warning for rain from the Met Office, but even the soaked crowds lapped up the laughs and pleasant setting.

This Is Local London: A soggy audience take their seats in Greenwich backlit by the Queen's HouseA soggy audience take their seats in Greenwich backlit by the Queen's House

Sunday night marked the end of another successful event bringing people from across the country, although the question of 'who's a local' also prompted a multitude of cheers from the crowd.

With their backs to the beautifully-lit Queen's House, several hundred enjoyed each night of comedy served with a variety of local street food, and despite the cold and the damp and a few empty chairs, the festival served as another reminder of what Greenwich really has to offer.

Last year's event was able to sneak in past the Government restrictions, but saw a socially distanced crowd stretched out for miles, and again some typical British weather.

This Is Local London: Al fresco river-side comedy.Al fresco river-side comedy.

So it was good to back in a relatively normal live comedy show. And the pandemic provided plenty of material for the comedians, from distinctly Irish home-schooling, lockdown relationships and a lack of live comedy.

But the comedy was still al fresco and under the stars and clouds, and heavy rain on Sunday evening threatened to derail the finale.

Headline act Dara O'Briain dryly noted that this would likely be the last outdoor comedy gig of the year, whilst Mock the Week's Rhys James described the audience as "dressed for a log flume."

This Is Local London: Rhys James - the comedian, not the footballer.Rhys James - the comedian, not the footballer.

The comedian also took time to lament the sudden rise of Chelsea and England footballer Reece James, whilst Live at the Apollo star Seann Walsh completed the set with an energetic opening act.

This Is Local London: Seann Walsh opens the showSeann Walsh opens the show

But it was Mr O'Briain who had the biggest laughs and cheers as he warmed up for his upcoming tour.

Rattling through a jumbled set of jokes, stories and spontaneous audience drubbings, the Irish comedian genuinely seemed like he was enjoying himself on stage, despite the presence of a walking stick.

Dara ended up going significantly over his timeslot, causally telling the tech person shining a light to get him to stop to "f**k off", and had the audience hanging on his every word.

This Is Local London: Iconic Dara O'Briain on stageIconic Dara O'Briain on stage

Performances earlier in the week saw Milton Jones, Nish Kumar, David O'Doherty, Alan Davies and Ed Gamble perform to mostly sold-out crowds with decidedly better weather.

The annual comedy festival has been delivering in the borough since 2009 and is run by Greenwich-raised sibling team Will Briggs and Cass Randolph of 57 Festivals.

The event was traditionally held in a Big Top tent, but this year's al-fresco edition continues on from last year's socially-distanced event which saw thousands celebrate the return of live comedy.

"Everything started for us in Greenwich.” says Cass.

“We launched this festival thirteen years ago and have since branched out to other locations across the UK, but Greenwich will always be our home.”