Sarah Keyworth @ Pleasance Courtyard

Sarah Keyworth's superb debut about gendered language is as articulate as it is unpretentious

Review by Ben Venables | 06 Aug 2018
  • Sarah Keyworth

Sarah Keyworth is articulate without being wordy, her humour is razor sharp without cynicism, and her show is thematic while also seeming weightless.

Dark Horse does everything we've come to expect from a Fringe debut hour, and Keyworth is an especially candid guide in allowing us to get to know her. In her childhood she initially embraced the tomboy label. In her youth, her perceived boyishness attracted bullies at school. Either way, she always found herself living with others' ideas of gender. That is until she didn't. Until she started acting more 'female' right into her time at university. And these experiences inform her work and thoughtfulness as a nanny for two rich kids she adores.

The show is about words, how words build identity but can also destroy it. In a sense Dark Horse is unshakeably sociological, all about the social construction of gender, but what's absent is all the fey bullshit that might sometimes entail. Keyworth puts it succinctly: "language is important".

She isn't trying to catch anyone out. She isn't hung up on the latest terms. She isn't certain of the complete acronym for the LGBT+ community. Finding the right thing to say, for Keyworth, isn't about proving your liberal credentials – it's about doing what's right.

Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse, Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker Two), 1-26 Aug, 5.30pm, £6-11

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