Sarah Keyworth @ Pleasance Courtyard
Pacific is a confessional and stimulating, yet light-hearted sophomore Edinburgh Fringe hour from Sarah Keyworth
Pacific marks the return of Sarah Keyworth after making big waves at last year’s festival with her debut hour. This year, she tackles similar topics with an ultimate focus on her sexuality, but also delves into her relationships, family, and gender stereotypes.
This is a confessional, non-preachy type of show. Her unassuming nature gives the show a very relaxed feel – she’s sharing her thoughts and feelings, and we’re all in on it. Candid material about her family and girlfriend make for entertaining observational gags, but also allow her the opportunity to explore the themes of the show. She points toward the gender roles played within hers and her parents’ relationships, and the need she often feels to be the ‘big bloke’ in her own relationship.
Gender is at the heart of the show, and there couldn’t be a more apt time for the discussion. Where transphobia is rife on social media, Keyworth doesn’t feel the need to attack back, but simply points out its wrongness. And yet, she doesn’t claim the moral high ground as she feels able to point toward her own fallacies (exemplified in a particularly humorous gag about homophobia within the gay community).
Keyworth’s comedy is the very opposite of punching down, and a breath of fresh air in current times. The wholesomeness of the show gets cranked up about five notches when actual Sandi Toksvig emerges from the audience to hug Keyworth as she refers to the Bake Off presenter as the most harmless imaginable leader of a cult (unfortunately, this appeared to be a one-off event). This proves to be another great hour of stimulating comedy from Keyworth.
Sarah Keyworth: Pacific, Pleasance Courtyard (Baby Grand), until 25 Aug, 5.45pm, £8-11; extra show at Pleasance Courtyard (Cabaret Bar), 16 Aug, 10.50pm