Edward James

Edinburgh Fringe review: Zoe Lyons, Mustard Cutter

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Some comedians like to start their shows at the Fringe with a massive overblown entrance, some like to launch straight into their biggest gag, and some like to talk to the audience and warm the room a little.

Zoe Lyons takes a different approach, skipping out with a wave and an enthusiastic “Hi, friends!” before dancing into her first routine about moving up the social scale, and acquiring arsehole neighbours as a consequence.

She moves frenetically from one place to another, both linguistically and physically, using every inch of available space. Had she performed in some of the smaller Fringe venues she may actually have fallen off the stage.

This zigzag approach to structure lends an amazing pace to the hour, marrying astute observational routines around class snobbery, the European and Scottish referendums, and UKIP’s attitude towards homosexuality, with surrealist flights of fancy dreamt up in Lyons’ undoubtedly overactive imagination.

While the high energy show feels a little like verbal assault at times, Lyons skillfully snowballs through all her skittish thoughts into high quality punchlines uniting the room in laughter.

Throughout an hour of what is essentially a window into the mind of Zoe Lyons, she challenges some long-held stereotypes (including a hilarious routine about an old woman at a Salsa event), displays a range of human emotions all brilliantly framed, and ends on a prop gag-cum-callback that she readily admits was much funnier in her own head as she wrote the show.

Nevertheless, it is a brilliant conclusion to a highly entertaining show.


Date of live review: 19 August 2014 @ Gilded Balloon Dining Room

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