Rachel Parris: Keynote (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Rachel Parris: Keynote

Austentatious cast member digs deep for a rousing motivational speech

Rachel Parris has been invited back to her alma mater of Loughborough Academy. There she will give a speech to teenage girls taking flight from the education system and starting the rest of their lives. Keynote follows the thought processes of the Austentatious cast member, as she considers how to approach the lectern. It's a tightly structured and well thought-out hour, with meditations on both the foolishness and unparalleled excitement of youth, all the anxieties those years bring and how the pursuit of happiness is never ending.

Parris mixes things up throughout the hour; her interactions with tonight's audience and her use of visuals complement rather than distract from the show. The musical numbers are hit and miss: the plodding 'Adele-style ballad with a twist in the lyrics' is certainly forgettable. A sexed-up Rihanna parody is much better, especially as Parris comes across so clean cut and well behaved. It's a persona that also makes her anecdotes about sexting and dalliances with MDMA genuinely relatable. We've all been out of our depth socially, sometime or another.

'Life is weird, and so are you', she offers. Take your time, work things out and follow your dreams: Rachel Parris' practice run is going well and a rousing Keynote awaits.

Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug, 8.20pm, £8.50–£11.50 (£7.50–£10.50).

Rachel Parris: Keynote

The award-winning musical comedian as seen on Austentatious, The IT Crowd and Murder In Successville presents a collection of songs, stories and stand-up.