Leeds Tealights: For Your Sins

The boys and girl comprising The Leeds Tealights performers, and of course their behind-the-scenes team, have created a comedy sketch show that can be hailed as a storming success for a number of reasons: the sheer originality, the direct appeal to their target audiences, and, perhaps key to their achievement, the unabashed ability to laugh at themselves. The show really was a joy from start to finish; a friend with a history of hernia problems managed to re-injure himself after excessive laughing – surely higher praise than any review can provide?To go into excessive detail would be to spoil the punch lines of the sketches – though to some degree this may not pose a problem after all, as there seems to be a significant element of improvisation in the show. This is where the Tealights really come into their own: the comedy sketches are of course excellent, but the occasional forays into the unscripted allow us as an audience to feel privileged in the viewing of something unique and exclusive. The performers’ laughter (or writhing facial expressions as it was desperately concealed) at their own impromptu jokes was anything but a problem – quite the opposite, it simply serves to show off their boundless energy and creative spirit with which the group are buzzing throughout. Simple but startlingly clever hark-backs to earlier jokes in the show again proved shrewd and hilarious; and there was not once a sense that an avenue of comedy had failed, as dead ends were swiftly alluded to and laughed off.This year’s addition of a female performer opened up new realms of comedy for the group – although some viewers might perhaps wince a little at the repeating motif of ‘woman-get-back-into-the-kitchen’ jokes. Sketch-wise, the writing was diverse and brimming with ingenuity, bounding from insensitive morticians to the NSPCC helpline (outrageous) to the daily life of the Thunderbirds. A handful of skits were perhaps a little hit-and-miss on the humour front, but certainly not for lack of inventiveness and enthusiasm. I came away chuckling and tending to my hernia-crippled friend; for plenty of laughs and an infection of energy, go and see this show.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

A brand new, charmingly witty and curiously dark, sketch-comedy show. Come and experience their quest to seek salvation; as the Tealights are back, for your sins. 'Slick, brilliantly acted and original' (Chortle.co.uk).

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