Rachel Parris: Best Laid Plans (4 stars)

A recent break-up has given the Austentatious star's live work a fresh and poignant energy

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This article is from 2016.

Rachel Parris: Best Laid Plans

Unsurprisingly given the show's title of Best Laid Plans, Rachel Parris' hour concerns how life has a habit of veering from your chosen path. In this case, how a rather conventional ambition of marriage, house, children and car with real smoke coming from its exhaust – a dream that lasted from a chalk board drawing in childhood and into her twenties – loosened from her grip. Now a thirtysomething living through a recent break-up, Parris finds herself in a dark, rootless place.

The show is a joyous story of how she found her feet again. The Austentatious member employs a usual mixture of perfectly executed song, studied facial expressions and sharply written words to tell her tale. Her musical qualities have never been in question as she moves between jazz riffs, musical theatre-style song and even a sex rap, while she frequently pays homage to Elton John.

But unlike some other musical comedy performers, Parris can craft the words just as well as those notes with some beautifully penned lines. In addition, she is deft with the change of emotion too, effortlessly moving between poignancy and gags, making for an uplifting, life-affirming hour.

Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug, 6.50pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10.50).

Rachel Parris: Best Laid Plans

  • 4 stars

A blend of musical comedy and stand-up covering all the biggies: break-ups, children, weddings, sex and the Samaritans, from Rachel Parris (Austentatious, The IT Crowd, Murder in Successville).

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