Review: At Home with the Leeds Tealights
When the Leeds Tealights came out to give their first performance as the new ensemble, I was at first a little scared, for they had quite the legacy to maintain. Needless to say, they quickly warmed up and soon the five budding comedians embodied everything from barmen to suicidal old friends, giving the impression that they are not afraid of their predecessors’ success, and will do all they can to uphold the reputation of the Leeds Tealights.
Some sketches were painfully funny, such as a Rain Man parody, whilst a few did seem to be time fillers, often relying on the physical comedy of the show’s star Henry Perryment. Surprisingly, it was their veteran member, the only female Tealight, who seemed to struggle with her role in the cast. Annie McGrath, although undoubtedly funny and expressive, seemed a little uncomfortable and drowned out at times, by the other, louder Tealights. But as a very high-energy cast, with great dynamics overall, this year’s troupe are set to grow into seamless sketch performers, leaving their audiences aching with laughter.
Self-proclaiming to be breaking the ‘Boundaries of Comedy’, this sketch show was a clearly well nurtured and thought out first attempt from the new ensemble. With wholly original material, the cast brought humour to both everyday occurrences, such as irritatingly enthusiastic women on trains, and more surreal situations, like having a living breathing Dream-catcher guarding you as you sleep. With a frustratingly clever ending, this show is set to leave you not only impressed with their comedic skills, but also their ability to create something that’ll distinguish them from the hoards of sketch shows coming out of universities all over. With previous Tealights having produced sell out shows at Edinburgh, to critical acclaim; this lot has got a lot of work to do.
The Leeds Tealights special guests are Oyster Eyes, a four-piece group with their own unique surrealist sketch comedy. From their dry and sarcastic telemarketing presenters, to the Pastor Charles Mtembe and his wife, who exert the healing powers of God upon innocent audience-members, this groups bizarre and wonderful sketches thoroughly prepare the audience for an evening of entertainment.
With well over half a year until Edinburgh, the Tealights have got plenty of time to produce something more spectacular than last year’s sell out show, Animals With Jobs. Having put together this show, At Home with the Leeds Tealights, in just four weeks, I cannot imagine what they can do with all that time. Snap up the opportunity to see the Leeds Tealights whilst you can, because before long you’ll be fighting over a ticket for their bound-to-be sell out Edinburgh show.