Last week Stylus saw the The Leeds Tealights return with a new selection of hilarious sketches to add to their highly rated repertoire. With a backbone theme of the devil awakening the group, ‘666’ was a show that intertwined ridiculous, low-level gags with clever sketches of intense social relevance. For Joe, Joe, Em, Will, and new members Charlotte and Robert, ‘666’ was a new high.
Often I’ve found politically-influenced comedy to be dry, but the Tealights offered a well thought out take on the unease of the present political climate. The Cold War nuclear standoff was satirised in a corny game show where Russian and American leaders battled it out over who would be the first to press the big red buzzer, and the entrance of a charitable Kim Jong Un to a North Korean family’s Christmas dinner mocked the poor subtlety of the communist state’s propaganda. It was brilliant and geeky comedy that didn’t dwell on the complexities of the politics – it just made you laugh.
Between these socially-relevant sketches, the Tealights exhibited what has always been their main source of appeal, simple humour that works with nuanced stereotypes to send the audience into fits of laughter. We saw two builders both called Dave quite literally break down the fourth wall, and a nursery-level slam poet narrate her argument with a classmate imitating the tone of a spoken word artist. These sketches broke up the more complex themes with moments of pure silliness, keeping ‘666’ cheerily lighthearted.
Comedy can be awkward, but the Leeds Tealights are far from. With humour rooted in simplicity, and a style far from stand-up that uncomfortably picks on its audience, they are a fantastic group. The effort the Tealights have put into ‘666’ has really paid off, and I can’t wait to see more.
(Image courtesy of Leeds Tealights)