Sarah Keyworth: Pacific

Keyworth has become something of an internet sensation in the last year, and her performance showcases a very confident and comfortable performer, owning her space and her audience. There are moments of audience interaction which are not in the least bit awkward, and we are regaled with tales of Keyworth’s relationship, family and career. This is a pleasantly funny show about strength, toxic masculinity and cats who wish they were brave enough to be goats.

A pleasantly funny show about strength, toxic masculinity and cats who wish they were brave enough to be goats

Keyworth struggled at times to get a response from the audience when dealing with more serious topics. A massive theme of her show was her desire to break free from traditional feminine gender roles, analysing all the ways she’s achieved this to date. She showcased her new haircut as an introduction to this, and elaborated into gendered views of relationships and transgender identities. Keyworth identifies as ‘female by convenience’, though her ultimate aim is to be a ‘big boy’ - and she’s dismayed that out of all the people in her life, her mum and her girlfriend are the ‘biggest dudes’. These topics got a few laughs, though there was a sense they could have been teased out more.

As a feminist, I felt uncomfortable about Keyworth’s attitudes to the sexual harassment which she’d experienced from a woman in a power position. Although Keyworth took action and reported the perpatrator, the segment suggested this harrassment made her one of the ‘big boys’ because it also happened to men she'd worked with. While recognising the comic is totally within her rights to own her own narrative, I found the idea sits uncomfortably alongside the undeniable truth that women of all ages, sizes, style of clothes and sexual persuasion are sexually harassed on systemic scales. Patriarchal power imbalances mean her experience can’t ever be compared to how men experience sexual harassment. I understand this was meant with irony; I’m not sure the audience will have got that, and I’m sure plenty of the audience found it funny. Unfortunately this reviewer did not.

It what you want is an hour of effortless, unassuming comedy, this is your bag. Keyworth delivers a rapid reflection on millennial life, with the secret to long lasting relationships (‘the weaker one just gives up’), fertility dances and friendzoneing. The audience lapped up Keyworth’s observations, with a steady chuckle throughout.

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Reviews by Jodie McVicar

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Since you’re here…

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The Blurb

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee for Best Newcomer and winner of the Herald Angel Award returns with a brand-new hour of comedy about the little things, the smallest details, the fixed and distinct aspects that make up what we definitively are, how we expressly think and who we unambiguously love. 'Powerful, poignant and achingly funny stuff' ***** (Herald). 'It's refreshing to see something so generous and outward-looking' ( 'The most hilarious visual images' **** (Scotsman). 'An absolute gem' **** (Evening Standard).

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