Elf Lyons is vibrant and uncompromising; a woman of the people with a warm, friendly charm. This lady was clearly born to perform, and not just in a public speaking sense, but in an extravagant and physical style of comedy that few seem to be creating these days. Elf, who’s comedy is often compared to that of Noel Fielding, hits London in early February with her new show, Being Barbarella. If you need energising, or just want some new talent to watch, check out this refreshingly real and exhilarating performer.
I asked Elf these seven questions to learn a little more about her…
1) What is the first thing you think of every morning?
More often than not my thought process in the morning tends to go like this: First, “Why is the woman upstairs vacuuming at 6am?”, secondly; “I’m never drinking three bottles of Prosecco again,” then, “How did I get home?”, then, “Please God let there be coffee in the kitchen”, then, “I should probably go to the gym and think about what I’ve done with my life”, then finally ‘NO. Bad idea. I’ll just eat a croissant in bed and write a new bit of material instead. WISE”, followed by “WHY IS SHE STILL VACUUMING??”
However, if I am being a normal adult woman (which is what I am 99% of the time because I am very mature) I tend to wake up every day around 7.30am, turn to my left, look at the ‘To-Do List’ I write religiously the night before (just before I go to sleep usually- this is one of the great superpowers OCD gives you: ‘uber organisation’) and follow/complete the to-does I’ve set myself. It always starts with the first point: ‘WAKE UP’ and then ‘GET COFFEE’. If I can get all the admin-rubbish done as early as possible in the day, it gives me more time to be creative and make work for the rest of the day. And go to the cinema.
2) What was your favourite subject at school?
Art. I used to draw all my teachers in class, used to make up characters in my head and I was obsessed with Pastels and making a mess. Also, you were allowed to listen to the RADIO in class! #winning. I am so at peace when I am drawing – I used to sketch lots of comics live when I first started and am proud to say I have a lovely lil drawing of James Acaster from 2010 in my journal at home!
When I was life-drawing I used to listen to comedy podcasts on my iPod. However, my teacher had to ask me to stop listening to them when I was drawing. When I asked why, he explained that I kept on laughing randomly during the sessions and it was making Miles, our life model, very nervous. He thought I was laughing manically at him and his flaccid member, however, I had to explain I wasn’t laughing as his naked body but was in was in fact giggling at the comedy of The Mighty Boosh. Easy misunderstanding.
When I left Uni I ended up getting a job as a life-model. Most of my parent’s friends didn’t know what that was, so I just told them I was a ‘lazy stripper’. My parents were thrilled.
3) Something that you’re afraid of?
Seals. I am terrified of seals. They are the underwater equivalent of Samara from The Ring and look like the type of animal Hades would keep as a pet in the Underworld. Big fat blubbery demetor mammals with eyes like black snooker balls. THERE IS NOTHING CUTE ABOUT THOSE EYES. THOSE ARE THE EYES OF A PSYCOPATH. I have no problem with seals being eaten by sharks. I tried to explain this to a man I met on the tube once. He moved seats.
4) What is the worst month of the year?
I’m gonna be blunt and say that March is pretty pointless. I personally think we have too many months with 31 days anyway and I’d argue that March could possibly just get cut and we could double up and have a 61 day June – as June is the absolute best. Although we have international ‘Save a Spider Day’ on March 14th, I’d go so far to say this is the only redeeming feature of March. March is named after Mars who was the Roman God of War, and next to seals, I absolutely hate war and I don’t think we should have a month that encourages it. Also if you were born in March, chances are you are either an Aries or Pisces and as a Gemini (again, June is the best) I have never had a successful Tinder date with either.
5) Who is your comedy hero?
My dad. He’s always saying very funny, dry jokes. For example, when I ask him, “Hey dad! Do you love me?”, he always replies with the phrase, “What are the choices?”. Never gets old. Never.
He was born in March.
Other than that, my comedy heroes have always been Dave Allen, Emo Phillips, Noel Fielding and French & Saunders.
6) What’s your opinion on celebrity culture?
I can’t wait to be a part of it. If it helps one get a ‘Black Nandos’ card to eat free in my favourite chicken establishment or be able to get 35687,0000000 likes on Instagram for a picture of my puppy, Khaleesi, I am all for it. Also, by ‘celebrity culture’ I assume you also mean the other western translation meaning ‘Kim Kardashian’s bottom?”. That is a very important part of celebrity culture, and I’d argue to some extent a global issue. Any woman that can happily risk balancing a bottle of expensive champagne (or Prosecco, she may be on a budget) on her oiled posterior all for the sake of breaking the internet (very important issue right now) gets a high five from me. Mainly because if there is one thing I think that is lacking at the moment, it is highly suggestive and sexualised imagery of powerful women doing impractical things with kitchen appliances and home goods! AM I RIGHT LADIES???
7) What would you like people to take away from your comedy?
A chair. Chairs at comedy gigs are often very comfortable and if you enjoyed the gig i think it’s wise to take* the chair you laughed in home with you, so you can sit in and go “ah, this is my fun chair”.
A memory. The type of memory that one can sit and think about fondly in one’s fun chair and go “Ah… that was a fun gig.”
A picture of my face. Like a religious memento, that one can look upon and cry fondly over.
*some would say ‘steal’.