A colourful carpet of flyers and leaflets lines the medieval roads of Edinburgh’s old town. Art-aficionados from across the globe buzz to the venue of their next play, cabaret, or stand-up gig. Circus escapees perform to crowds in the street while overlooked artists offer their work to hundreds of thousands of people pouring through Scotland’s capital city. This is the kind of beautiful chaos you get when such artistic potential collides in one place. This is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So many wonderful things occurred across the city on Saturday 8th August – but for me, the best thing that happened was finding enough change at the bottom of my Leeds Corn Exchange Tote bag to pay for a ticket to The Leeds Tealights: Discuss… A Sketch Show.
Already late, I rushed into the venue and immediately noted the exposed brick wall with the cast on the stage in front, wearing matching burgundy shirts – this was bound to be good. The perfect set and uniform for a top-notch comedy show.
What most impressed me about this show – other than the energy and enthusiasm of its cast – was the continuity that the Tealights managed to obtain across the script. This trait is usually missing from sketch shows, and in the past I have often found them to be disjointed and nonsensical. However this one was an exception. It still had all the variety and unpredictability of the best sketch shows, but, at the same time, achieved a coherent overall plot. This was solidified by the seamlessly choreographed transitions between every scene which gave the show a kind of rhythm which is often lost in performances of this nature. Very professional and very funny.
Furthermore, the standard of acting was fantastic throughout. Even in the face of some prop malfunctions, the cast managed to uphold a naturally funny and authentic performance which engaged the viewer without any of the dreaded ‘audience participation’. It was also clear that group had worked hard on the script and the production of the piece which certainly paid off. The jokes were developed over the course of each sketch in such a way that meant the punch lines hit at just the right time, leaving some members of the audience roaring with laughter.
The Leeds Tealights: Discuss… A Sketch Show will be running from 6th – 29th August at Caves, Just the Tonic venue 88, Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Don’t let this be the thing you wish you had gone to see.