Preview: Zoe Lyons – Entry Level Human

By Alan Parry
Fri 09 March, 2018

As Zoe Lyons prepares her new show, Alan Parry takes a comedian with mastery in satire, observational comedy and razor sharp one-liners.

Zoe Lyons (Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo) brings her show, Entry Level Human to Southport’s Little Theatre this October as part of the resort’s eight annual Comedy Festival, as well as a performance at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre a month earlier.

The festival is growing year on year and attracting comics of the calibre of Lyons to perform highlights its growth.

Lyons really started making ripples on the comedy circuit as long ago as 2004, when she won the Babycham Funny Women Award, which keeps her in company with Katherine Ryan, Desiree Burch and Jayde Adams, but she is as relevant now as she has ever been.

The level of her success in the intervening years cannot be dismissed, given that she is working in a male dominated industry. However, as her myriad television and radio appearances testify, she is more than a match for most of her male contemporaries.

Consequently, Lyons has been rewarded with the opportunity to write and star in her own BBC Radio 4 show, Zoe Lyons: Passport Paddy, which is expected to be a look at nostalgia and patriotism, through a Brexit tinted lens, and we eagerly await its debut.

It should be remembered that Lyons is a former Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer nominee (2007), losing out with both Jon Richardson and Micky Flanagan, to Tom Basden. This was a shortlist that serves to prove my point about the number of men working the circuit at that time. That is changing, as diversity and representation is improving, and we are seeing the results of more women (and other minorities) being offered greater opportunities with every day that passes.

Additionally, the following year Lyons did pick up Dave’s award for the Funniest Joke at the Fringe, for a real zinger about the now late Amy Winehouse cementing her reputation in the process.

Her status as an LGBT comic does deserve some recognition. As according to The Independent’s 2009 Pink List, Lyons was (and possibly still is) one of the most influential lesbians in the country.

However, contrary to this, and despite her running of a gay-friendly club in Brighton, Lyons is resistant to being labelled as gay. This isn’t a matter of hiding or shying away from who she is, quite the opposite in fact. Lyons is proud of who and what she is, but simultaneously wary of the possible limitations such a tag may incur. She seemingly wants to be accessible to everybody, regardless of their sexuality.

On stage, Lyons employs satire, observational comedy, razor sharp one-liners and oftentimes a more narrative style, and she has a mastery over each of them.

Zoe Lyons plays Liverpool’s Unity Theatre on Thursday 20th September and Southport’s Little Theatre on Friday 19th October 2018. Click here to buy tickets from Skiddle.