Reviewer: Sarah Webster
Established Yorkshire-based sketch comedy group the Leeds Tealights have migrated northwards to the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with another set of fresh faces and a brand new show. Promising good, clean sketch comedy, Discuss is the perfect way to passaway a late afternoon at the Fringe.
Unlike many other sketch comedy shows, the Tealights have successfully produced a well-structured piece of theatre, which benefits hugely from an overarching plot, holding all of the individual sketches together within a larger framework. Thus, the show avoids the apparent disjointedness that often plagues sketch groups.
Previous years have seen the Tealights’ Fringe show serve as a platform for young, budding comics, many of whom have gone on to write and star in their own shows as a result. Indeed, this year’s young comics are no exception to this trend and prove to be promising talents to watch out for.
There is great chemistry between the five group members and each of them performs ably in both supporting and leading rôles within the different sketches. The absence of inflated egos ensures that each performer has their moment to shine and it’s clear that from start to finish this is a team effort. Their use of satire is clever and nuanced and they are un-phased by audience hecklers.
Slick scene changes courtesy of effective sound and lighting cues, ensure that the transitions between the various sketches are smoothly managed, something which many other sketch groups struggle with.
Comedy is highly subjective and some might argue that the Inception theme ought to have appeared earlier within the show running order so as to tighten the overall structure. Moreover, while the Tealights offer a uniquely fresh, alternative comedy, andthe satire is tongue-in-cheek, overall it lacksgrit and a crucial element of risk, arguably playing it safe throughout.
Nevertheless, the Tealights offer an impressive, professional and amusing show. Undoubtedly one of the best sketch groups at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Runs until August 29, 2015