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I TALK TO Sarah Keyworth

She's one of the rising stars in comedy and following tour support for Dane Baptiste, Stewart Francis and Kerry Godliman, Nottingham-born Sarah Keyworth is debuting her first hour at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Dark Horse.

Why have you chosen 2018 to debut your first Edinburgh hour?

It's actually going to be my ninth year visiting the Fringe because I used to do theatre but I can't act. So that never really worked out!

But this year I feel like I have a show that I care about and I have something that I want to talk about on stage. So that's why I've chosen this year for the hour.

How would you describe your style of comedy?

People say it's cheeky deadpan. It's very silly and can occasionally be a bit strange. But it's good fun and it's light-hearted.

What's Dark Horse about and why that title?

The show is about what it means to be a girl and my experiences growing up in a framework of expectations that didn't really work or suit me.

It's also about another little girl I have in my life who is facing some similar and some different difficulties with being female. I like to think that she is the dark horse in the tale.

How long have you been working on the show for?

Last September really, so straight after the work-in-progress I did at the Fringe. That's when I decided that I'd come back this year with my first hour.

How have you found the process of writing your first hour?

It's been really enjoyable actually. It's nice having something that you're actually interested in talking about and writing about. That has really made this whole process more enjoyable and in a way easier.

Filling the hour has not been as difficult as I thought it might be.

How have the previews been going?

They're going alright now. I had a few ropey ones at the beginning of the year. I tried to do a preview when it was really heavily snowing. I started with five audience members and I ended with three. They chose to walk out into heavy snow rather than stay with me.

I'm pleased to report that my shows have not had any more walkouts since. And people have said positive things about it. So they're going well.

I've really enjoyed doing them but I've only got a couple left now as we get dangerously close to the Fringe!

How are you feeling about the Fringe?

It depends on what day you're asking me. Today I'm feeling quite nervous, but I flit between being excited and terrified!

What are you most looking forward to about Edinburgh?

I'm excited to just get the first one out of the way and get into the groove of it really. I'm also really excited to be at the Pleasance. I've gone up for many years now and watched shows at the Pleasance and it's always been so amazing so it's great to be a part of that this year.

It'll be nice to start building a base of people who enjoy my comedy. That's kind of what you do Edinburgh for. It's finding that audience that you can start building.

What is it about Edinburgh that keeps comedians coming back year after year?

I honestly have no idea. I don't know why we keep doing it! I don't understand! It's just the done thing. It's just what we do and we can't stop now because we're too far in!

I whinge and moan, but that's because I love to whinge and moan. But I do enjoy it when I get there if I'm honest. Just don't tel anyone!

Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?

I'm looking forward to seeing Sean McLoughlin, I'm excited to see Jordan Brookes, Ed Night, Sindhu Vee, Catherine Bohart, George Rigden... oh theres so many! You could just go on and on.

You mentioned your girlfriend there, Catherine Bohart, who is also heading up there with her debut this year. Is it nice to be able to share that experience with her?

Yeah, it's lovely. It's nice to have somebody that just understands what you're trying to achieve.

Outside of the Fringe, what's are you working on?

I've got loads of gigs coming up in September and October which is nice. I'm going to be hosting a regular night at the 99 Club in Leicester Square which I'm really looking forward to. I'm going to be a resident MC there which is going to be great fun. That room just seems to make the strangest things possible happen. So that'll be a good laugh!

All being well , I'll be able to perform this show in more places as well.

Finally, how would you sum up your show in just five words?

Silly. Fun. Reasonably priced. Different.

Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse runs from 1st - 26th August at 5:30pm at The Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker Two). Book tickets here.


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