The Leeds Tealights show off considerable performance skills in this slickly choreographed, highly creative, and frequently fantastic hour of sketch comedy. Variety and unpredictability fizzes through the show’s entire length.
A quality show and a paradigm entry in the tradition of student sketch comedy.
The idea of linking sketches together in an overarching narrative is no longer new enough to be called revolutionary (the show owes much of its comedy DNA to previous Fringe student sketch shows, especially 2012’s Perfect Strangers and 2013’s Dressing Down, both from Cambridge), but the Tealights carry off this ambitious and challenging format choice excellently.
Some issues hold the show back from total brilliance: Tony Blair and BNP are outdated, And Jerry Bens exists largely for the sake of one amazing joke about phonetics in the middle and otherwise needs reworking, and Keith’s Oompa Loompa schtick has been done before.
But for every line or sketch that doesn’t quite work, there are two that shine. The political material in UN Drama is razor sharp and Millionaire is like attending a class in sketch-writing. For every setup like Unicorns that is not fully capitalised on, there is something totally off the wall and wonderful like Duke of Edinburgh or Church Roof that milks every laugh possible and isn’t afraid to push the envelope. Some of the best lines of the show are the asides and casual throw-outs from these enthusiastic and hardworking performers. A quality show and a paradigm entry in the tradition of student sketch comedy.