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Fringe review: Leeds Tealights: Souls for Sale @ Just the Tonic


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Sometimes all you need is some silly sketches bound to make you laugh – and Souls for Sale does just this. A student-run group, Leeds Tealights are a talented bunch and this sketch show showcases these talents and more.

With a vibe similar to Monty Python or Horrible Histories, the kind of sketches done in this show are silly, satirical and genuinely hilarious. Each only lasted one or two minutes at most, and they managed to fit 18 sketches into the 50 minute show. Each actor played multiple different characters without any props or costume changes, but they are all so good at transitioning roles, putting on accents and performing that it seems completely natural.

The show’s premise is that they have not planned any sketches, so a demon offers to give them some sketches to perform in exchange for their souls. Throughout the show each actor is shown to embody one of the seven deadly sins (although there are only six actors), so there is some form of plot alongside the sketches. At the end of the show, the positive aspects of each cast member are shown alongside the deadly sin, in order to end on a positive note. This format worked well as it gave much more structure to the show, something that can be difficult in a sketch show.

I feel that classic sketch show comedy is something that can be hard to find at the Fringe these days – where a large majority of the comedy is stand-up or improv, and many shows are trying to do things that are new and innovative. Leeds Tealights manage to fill a gap in the market (that shouldn’t be there) with their witty and silly sketches, with anyone of any age bound to find at least some of the sketches funny.

This article is part of our coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Click here to read other articles written by our contributors. 

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