Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Elf Lyons

Elf Lyons picked up an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination last year for Swan, her decidedly idiosyncratic interpretation of Swan Lake. This year she is tackling a very different subject. Chiff Chaff is her one-woman musical about the economy. You read that right. Expect daffy dancing, costume changes and a funny take on financial theory. There's a lot of clowning to choose from in Edinburgh these days but Lyons is one of the best and also one of the most original. It has been said that the art of clowning is about releasing your inner idiot. Lyons certainly releases hers.

Elf Lyons: ChiffChaff is at Pleasance Dome from August 1 - 27. Buy tickets here. 

Picture: Andy Hollingworth Archive


1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?

Before we open house I have to hug the tech team and venue staff and then in a fake American accent as If I was an ole cabaret star I shout "BRING THE FUCKERS IN!". During Edinburgh last year my tech, Ellie, and I loved pulling pranks on the venue managers Ed and Tom. I loved our pre-show warm-ups together.

2. What irritates you?

When people aren't kind.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

To impress some boys in Arniston in South Africa when I was a teenager on a school exchange I swam out to sea to touch a rock which was about a good 10/15 minutes swim away. I was drunk, naked and it was midnight. The rock was also the mating sight for great whites in the area. And it was mating season. I won't go into how much trouble I got in. But it turns out I was very lucky. Truly stupid.

Second to that, performing last years Weirdo's Battle for Icetopia at Ally Pally - on ice - as a plane - whilst with a broken rib.

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

On stage: Hit myself so hard over the head with a tambourine whilst performing in a punk rock version of The Tempest that I had to go to hospital.

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

How happy I am.

Interview continues here.


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