Rachel Parris @ Pleasance Dome

Notable keys and jokes in this confident piece on speeches

Review by Sophia Shluger | 21 Aug 2017
  • Rachel Parris

A tone of imagination and hope is set from the start in Keynote, with onstage sounds and videos of inspirational people and their speeches. As Rachel Parris laments on the difficulties of concocting the perfect message to deliver at her former posh grade school, we witness her myriad talents through originally crafted multimedia including video presentations, standup, singing, piano playing and sketch (or self-referred character pieces, such as an impressive impersonation of an old Jewish New York actress).

Throughout Parris tackles a lot of issues including a sense of purpose, her fears, feminism, family conflict and online dating with both confidence and humour. These are topics she has clearly reflected on and this is all done in defence of her shortcomings of writing speeches (which comes across highly ironically). The pace is perfect and Parris delivers a steady stream of audience chuckles from mostly unexpected twists and punchlines.

A song about hating her friends’ child is followed by one that reviews her sexual talents, a transition which if performed by someone else might not feel as seamless. Overall this interactive and cerebral show has a lighthearted final message as it comes full circle in the end with a final reveal on a fantastic topic for her speech.

Rachel Parris: Keynote, Pleasance Dome (10 Dome), until 28 Aug, 8.20pm, £7.50-11.50