Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse

Dark Horse covers lots of ground and it is evidently the result of Keyworth tirelessly exploring multiple comic avenues. The hour touches on gender, sexuality, the comedian's childhood, and her current job being a nanny to two children from a very wealthy family, but it is well-structured and never spreads itself too thinly.

An hour that feels somewhat unsatisfying.

Unfortunately issues start to arise when the show takes that familiar Fringe turn to speechifying. This is not a problem in itself as many fringe comedy hours have been elevated from a good distraction to great art by providing some depth to their humour. However, here Keyworth's material occasionally belies her message, leading to an hour that feels somewhat unsatisfying.

At two points early in the show Keyworth mines humour from misunderstanding gender and sexual identity. First from not understanding polyamory, then from disbelief at someone using they/them pronouns. Though these instances are mild the humour in them can only be drawn from laughter at what is perceived by Keyworth and the audience as "the other". Keyworth later rests the emotional crux of the show on "the impotance of language" in how we address women. Her points in this later section are entirely correct, but they ring hollow when 30 minutes earlier she was wringing laughs from the words people use to identify their sexuality and life choices.

Enjoyment of this show is largely dependant on finding the antics of a demanding posh five-year-old both funny and sympathetic. As the stories go on they stretch credulity and we are given many more examples than we need of child precociousness. Though they are eventually used to tie together the narrative threads of the show, this section feels horribly drawn out if you were never a fan of Kids Say The Funniest Things. Though Keyworth is undoubtedly a charistmatic on-stage presence with an original comic voice, it is disappointing that her material ranges largely from rote comic avenues to reinforcing sexuality stereotypes, to gaining empathy with the audience by leaving an awkward pause after recounting two people telling her they sleep with a non-binary person.

Reviews by Charlie Ralph

Pleasance Courtyard

Ciarán Dowd: Don Rodolfo

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse

★★
Summerhall

The Basement Tapes

★★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Kate Berlant: Communikate

★★★★
Assembly Hall

Legacy: A Mother's Song

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

You've seen her on Comedy Central, you've seen her on the BBC. Now see Nottingham-born rising star Sarah Keyworth's debut hour. Join Sarah as she tells you about her life with an important little girl and her battle against every expectation of what being a girl means. Think Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but British, deadpan and in no way similar. Tour support for Dane Baptiste, Stewart Francis and Kerry Godliman. Funny Women runner-up. 'Charming' (Independent). 'Excellently deadpan' (HuffingtonPost.com). 'I liked that joke about her fanny' (Sarah Millican). 'A complete breath of fresh air' (EdFestMag.com).