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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Leeds Tealights Comedy Revue
Intelligent satire to outrageous slapstick in a show proudly defined by its comic diversity.
Comedy revues are often a platform for fresh, new, talent. Or, they can serve as a vehicle for blinkered, self-indulgent nonsense by people who think they are fresh, new, talent.
The Leeds Tealights, regrettably, fall into the latter category.
With lacklustre acting ability and a reckless disinterest in timing, the five-piece lurch through a series of sketches that are mainly depressingly one-dimensional or irritatingly nonsensical.
There’s a sat nav system that – surprise! – has a mind of its own; a Yorkshire Spiderman who – guess what? – grumbles a lot; a man in a wheelchair being taken to a disco when –of course – he can’t dance!
Plain attempts at ripping off shows like The Mighty Boosh fall flat because they don’t seem to have grasped that there’s more to surrealist comedy than wearing a Cookie Monster outfit and shouting gibberish. Most scenes end in yelling, slapstick or the pulling of ironic ‘comedy’ faces.
Now and again there is the glimmer of a genuinely interesting, funny idea, such as the West End wannabe waiters inappropriately auditioning for customers or the fantasy warlord crushingly disappointed at meeting his hero.But even these are too bogged down in a quagmire of incontinent waffle to really come to life.
Other sketches suffer because of the lazy acting; so wrapped up in the perceived cleverness of their script, the group rush through creating a character, or a scene, and expect it to work all the same. It doesn’t.
There’s a lot of energy in this show and one thing you couldn’t accuse them of is not trying. It’s clear they are trying very hard. But they don’t seem to have once sought an opinion on what they have produced that hasn’t come from friends or family. If they had, they might have lost the unfounded confidence and reworked the show.
With that much effort expended, it seems a shame it is so misguided.
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin
A hilarously wacky show that will have you wondering why these guys aren't famous, or in a mental asylum. Make their festival dream come true and have a great afternoon too!