Zoe Lyons: Fight Or Flight

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

By turns gentle and ballsy, Zoe Lyons is never less than engaging.

A self-confessed ‘scaredy cat’, she looks at the topic of fear, in all its gloriously idiosyncratic incarnations. From the childhood nightmare of trying to fit in at school as a lesbian with alopecia, to adult years spent conquering a fear of heights via ill-judged parachute jumps, no stone is left unturned on this frequently hilarious journey through a permanently anxious life.

She is an energetic, warm, onstage presence, with a croaky voice that sounds constantly on the brink of collapse and the occasional nervous tic that belies her apparent confidence

Beguiling confessionals, well suited to the intimate venue, are balanced with a fast, sharp wit, while judicious use of props lets her illustrate – in ways that really cannot be fully appreciated until seen – why snakes with ears would be a lot less scary.

She interacts constantly with a willing audience, asking for contributions to her ‘Wall Of Fear’ and delighting in some of the more unusual responses. One man, with a phobia of the number 13 that can only be alleviated by adding and multiplying the two digits, shyly admits he’s never told anyone about it before. The whole thing starts to take on the feel of some wonderfully loopy support group.

Lyons doesn’t attempt to advance her basic themes that people are scared of things and life can be annoying, but it doesn’t much matter because she has some thrillingly silly observations on the subject and the joy is in listening to her make them.

Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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