Elf Lyons: Swan (3 stars)

This article is from 2017.

Elf Lyons: Swan

credit: Andy Hollingworth

Puzzling yet captivating nonsense from slapstick stand-up

She plays a shark, lizard and several swans at the same time, stripteases an audience member, speaks Frenglish, and completely changes the ending of Swan Lake. In short, Elf Lyons is one of the most bizarre yet captivating stand-up comics at this year's Fringe.

After leaping onto the stage in a parrot costume to the sounds of Notorious B.I.G, she explains (in French, or English: we're not quite sure) the basic concept of ballet. The audience are then taken through all three acts of Swan Lake, but not quite how Tchaikovsky intended. Her interpretation of the ballet is so beyond the bounds of possibility that it perfectly captures her obscure likeability. By stressing her annoyance at the use of mime in traditional ballet, she comically commentates certain scenes in an attempt to clarify any confusion; none of which is any benefit to those puzzled from the moment she arrived.

Lyons is a master of her game, and although she's not everyone's cup of tea, her self-assurance and natural comedic style is something we can all admire. Or as she puts it herself, 'even if you don't find me funny, we can all agree that I'd make a great imaginary friend'. An hour of sheer, silly fun with some well-timed slapstick.

Underbelly Med Quad, 5–28 Aug (not 15), 9.30pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Preview 4 Aug, £6.50.

Elf Lyons: Swan

The impish writer, actress and award-winning stand-up presents her latest show which pairs clowning and comedy to hilarious effect.

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