RACHEL PARRIS: KEYNOTE
This show from Rachel Parris uses as its excuse her invitation to speak to pupils at her old school, as some sort of inspiring talk to advise them on their future. To help her in this task, Parris asks audience members to submit pieces of possible advice on slips of paper, which feature at odd times during the show – proving that at least some of the audience have a sense of humour. But this is only a very small part of a well-constructed piece of comedy, in which she uses her skill on piano and vocals to come up with multiple witty songs on various aspects of life. Hen parties on trains for instance. There is much more, backed up by visual clips on a powerpoint display behind her, on her relationship with her mother, on the subject of weddings in general, her old school, oh and just everything. She is an adept performer, switches character with ease, handles audience banter effortlessly, and generally gives a masterclass in how to put together a lively comedy variety show all by herself. Richly satisfying and hilarious.
John Christopher Wood