Zoe Lyons (3 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Zoe Lyons

Sharp act with a cuddly side

Despite the misleadingly butch show title of Miss Machismo, Zoe Lyons thankfully goes easy on the cocky swagger in this show about women with an exaggeratedly massive masculine side. Instead, ‘the 81st most influential gay woman in Britain’ (so says The Independent, she reports bemusedly) shows glimpses of something almost resembling a fluffy, soft side, with gags about gay penguin couples, competitive lesbian brides and self-loathing dogs.

Maybe it’s her strategy to counter those who thought she was being a bit harsh when she made that award-winning joke last Fringe about Amy Winehouse and her self-harming. Germaine Greer called her ‘astonishingly vicious’, chirps Lyons, before sweetly calling the Aussie academic a ‘lovely bloke’. Lyons may be a kitten rather than a bulldog, but the kitten has claws too: the Pope, Kerry Katona (‘that coke-addicted bankrupt’) and P Diddy (‘a monumental twat’) all line up to have their eyes expertly clawed out. With bitchy, biting sarcasm as her main weapon of choice, props provide back-up ammo too with a gun-toting Sarah Palin calendar and rancid celebrity perfumes both nice touches.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 8.30pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8)

Zoe Lyons: Miss Machismo

  • 3 stars

Punchy comedy from charming if.comedy best newcomer nominee, Lyons. Dave TV joke of the Fringe winner 2008. 'Zingy one liners - a talent for bitchiness' (Independent). 'A natural talent' - ***** (ThreeWeeks).

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