Most people groan when they hear the words “minor delays“ but Tufnell Park comedy troupe member Harry Michell is hoping to flip that reaction around.

He will be taking to the stage at SketchFest this week with Joe Barnes and Abi Tedder with the hopes of proving their group Minor Delays has what it takes to make you laugh.

Formed last year the trio regularly perform at the Hen and Chicken Theatre in Highbury, but on Friday they will be going into battle with fellow comedians at the third annual sketch troupe competition, which is produced by The Laughing Guild and has gained a reputation for discovering unknown comedy talents.

“I have always enjoyed performing,“ says former Yerbury Primary school pupil Harry, who discovered his love of the stage aged six when he played a witch in a production at Christ Church in Highbury.

“With comedy you get that immediate buzz. It is the sugary snack of the arts, compared to the slow release fibre of a dramatic play.“

The 23-year-old, who works for Jacksons Lane theatre company Grammatic Art, met Abi while at Cambridge University where they performed with Footlights, and they met Joe, who was with Leeds University’s equivalent group the Tealights Presidents.

“Everyone has material for you when you’re in a sketch troupe,“ say Harry.

“My mum will come home and say ’Harry, you’ll never guess what happened at work today it’s was so funny’ and my friends are always telling me they have some ’comedy gold’ for me.“

The group, who were part of the Edinburgh Fringe last year, used to perform historical-themed sketches, but have moved to the less fantastical these days.

“We like to take things which annoy or irritate us and turn them into sketches – we’ve just written one about a kid screaming on the bus, which over the phone probably doesn’t sound that funny... but it will be, I promise!“  

SketchFest will be held at The Cinema Museum, Dugard Way, Kennington, from May 1 to 3. Details:,