With their formation in 2005, the Leeds Tealights are the oldest sketch comedy troupe in Leeds. They also happen to be the most critically appraised, with their recent performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival garnering the attention of many critics, including Three Weeks, who praised them as “entirely unpredictable and highly entertaining”.
However, with the departure of Tealight performers Henry Perryment and Joe Barnes, this year marks an entirely fresh look for the group, with open auditions beckoning the next generation of new comic talent.
With past alumni including Kieran Boyd from WitTank and two Chortle Student Comedy Award finalists, it’s unsurprising that Henry has gone on to establish contacts from not only within the industry, but also amongst his university peers:
“For me, being a part of the Leeds Tealights has had a huge impact on both my University life and my career. Firstly, it was a great way to meet new people at university and get involved in a different social group. Personally though, it was a great platform to move forward in such a competitive industry such as the theatre and comedy business. It enabled me to showcase my writing and performing at the Edinburgh Fringe festival every year whilst also being seen by many important industry professionals. As a result I am now in contact with many agents and producers within the industry and it has given me a great platform to start my professional career since leaving university.”
Not only will successful applicants travel the breadth of the UK’s comedy circuit, but they will also be given the chance to hone their production skills. As Joe points out, being a part of the Leeds Tealights “has given me some fantastic opportunities. Whether it is performing, writing, directing or even producing, you get a real chance to learn about it all. I’ve worked with and met some amazing people through doing this so I would urge anyone thinking about auditioning to really go for it.”
Open auditons are taking place on the 30th and 1st of October at 5pm in the Banham Theatre and MINE inside the Union.