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Leeds Tealights: Animals With Jobs

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Phill Gillespie

From the outset we realise Animals With Jobs will be a loud and intense performance from these five student performers. Early on we see almost hyper-exaggeration in some of their ideas, coupled with a boisterous stage presence that keeps a quick tempo and energy throughout the hour. After each sketch they recap it with a musical summary to cover the scene transitions, and although it doesn't add any extra laughs, it is a nice touch.

The concepts behind many of their sketches are hardly the most original ideas: someone experiencing the film Groundhog Day, a child's dentist promoting sugary drinks and a teenage Olympic medallist being bullied. Given their youthful make-up these concepts might not be too surprising but at least they try to add something different to shake up the idea. Probably their loudest laugh came from one guy slobbering over another's face, not subtle, but their audience found it outrageous.

Most callbacks didn't work for me and several sketches ended without a strong final punchline. There were a few dropped lines and one forgotten prop which may have been a result of the long run taking their toll on the cast. A few times they tried a little ad-libbing about a gag that didn't really work either.

That said the majority of their crowd seemed to enjoy it. There were no big laughs of note but this is a simple hour that certainly has a lot a of enthusiasm. The hour holds its own against intense competition and drawing a decent crowd. They may have won National Student’s Best Student Sketch Group last year, but they will have to take it to the next level if they are to make it as a true sketch troupe in Edinburgh.

Review date: 29 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Phill Gillespie

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