INTERVIEW: Zoe Lyons
Ladies and Gentlemen and everything in between I give to you the sensationally funny Zoe Lyons. The award winning, cigar smoking, television regular comedian is about to begin a “Pop-up tour” and who knows, she may be coming to a town near-ish you!
TGUK – So, how long have you been on the circuit now?
It is nearly ten years , which I find utterly unbelievable as the time has passed so quickly. I did my first gig in a basement club in North London. The audience were mostly my friends so I got a very biased response to my dreadful attempt at stand up. Who knows, maybe if my mates hadn’t turned up I would have received the lukewarm reception the material deserved and I wouldn’t have bothered carrying on. So I blame my mates! Lordy only knows what I would have ended up doing if I hadn’t started Stand up, my skill set is tiny.
TGUK – So what drew you to comedy, did you have any big inspirations?
I have always been drawn to stand up, I used to love watching it and I harboured a desire to give it a go for years before I got the courage up. I used to watch a lot of American acts, Robin Williams and Steve Martin were among my favourites. Equally I was inspired by the comedic skills of Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies. He was a master of clowning and slapstick. He still cracks me up when I watch them today. I can appreciate high brow comedy but I think you have to go a long way to beat a bit of brilliantly choreographed falling over.
TGUK – You got rave reviews at The Fringe with your show, did you enjoy performing there?
The Edinburgh Fringe is a challenge for any comedian. You can go from having the best time of your life to the worst in the space of one day. When you are getting rave reviews it is marvellous but guaranteed there will be a real stinker waiting for you somewhere. The joy of performing at the Fringe is that over the course of the month, performing everyday you do get better and more “into” your show so by the end of the run you are completely match fit…. exhausted and with low level alcoholism but match fit as a comic.
TGUK – What preparations do you usually make before performing?
Have I written jokes? Check.
Can I remember jokes? Check
Have I done some gentle stretching? Check
Had a wee? Check
Okay let’s go!
TGUK – What’s been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
I love to travel so the highs would have to include some of the places that I have been fortunate enough to perform in. I have done comedy road shows in both Australia and New Zealand and last year I did a gig in Cambodia.
Like most comedians I have tons of lows to chose from. There are defiantly more lows when you are starting out. I have had to stay is some pretty dodgy places over night while on the road. I have had to barricade myself in my bedroom on more than one occasion. I once drove for hours to a gig to discover that we were performing beside the fruit machine to two people in a pub where the landlord told us not to mention the recent murders.
TGUK – What are your views on the recent steps forward toward equality that the LGBT community have made?
Equal marriage is of course great news. Just a shame it took us so long to get here. There are, after all several countries already where same sex marriage already exists. But I think the progress of the last few years is very encouraging. My girlfriend and I had a civil partnership 6 years ago so we will raise a glass of fizz when the legislation goes through and we can call ourselves married. There is still a way to go before we have equality across the board.
TGUK – Any plans for the future, after your ‘Pop-up tour’
I am doing another road show in Australia in the early summer and then planning on going back to Edinburgh in August for the Festival. It all just rolls on. No sooner do you finish one tour and you are thinking about the next show. No rest for the wicked … Or comics.