Comedian Zoe Lyons interviewed
Published: 15 Feb 2013 08:300 comments
Zoe Lyons, a comedian of cutting wit and down-to-earth manner, is taking on some of the sillier, more irritating elements of life in her new show, Pop Up Comic.
"Really us comedians generally find a title and then work around it!" admitted Zoe. "I just quite like the term at the moment - there seems to be pop up everything. It's a little bit of a play on words in the show; I have been popping up in a couple of weird places recently, including an ill-advised appearance on a daytime TV show...
"It's just the way my brain works; there's a lot of bad stuff happening in the world but it's the little things that irk me. I like to go and see comedians do challenging and confrontational material, but often I think I do not have the intellectual capacity to do that kind of thing well!
"I'm probably more interested in the absurd as opposed to the mind-expanding side, but I love watching someone who is skilled and informed enough to do political comedy. I just stick to dog prams - I know my limits!"
Zoe explained that one of her comedy heroes is Jo Brand, who helped pave the way for today's female comics.
"I think the likes of Jo Brand did a lot of hard groundbreaking when the they first came into the circuit. It's openly acknowledged that comedy was a misogynistic business and I think it absolutely, genuinely was when she started out in the 80s, when comedy moved from the working men's clubs to the alternative circuit."
Zoe added that while the growing popularity of comedy was to be welcomed, she was concerned at the rise of arena comedy tours: "Personally I would never go to see a comedian in an arena. It's awful, it's not my thing at all...but if I was asked to play an arena, I'm sure I would put my morals to the side and get over it!
"Comedy is having a boom at the moment which is great - it should encourage people to go to see more comedy. But I do worry about the small clubs surviving, if people go to spend their 30 or 40 or 50 quid on one ticket for an arena show instead."
Zoe Lyons is at South Street Arts Centre, Reading, on Friday, February 22, and Norden Farm, Maidenhead, on Saturday, March 30. Book at www.readingarts.com or nordenfarm.org