Zoe Lyons: Mangled Mantra Of The Messed Up Modern Mind

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Zoe Lyons has teased out some of the knots in her brain to produce a hugely enjoyable meditation on her inner fracas. It's a sharing of faults and foibles that comes as a welcome salve to the slightly neurotic.

An affable style puts the audience at ease, creating a confessional atmosphere much like a evening with a friend. There is so much here that is of universal concern; nothing very serious, just the stuff that punctuates the human experience. Her audience greeted everything with joyous understanding – well, all except her desire to one day find a body on the beach. And it wasn't that they didn't laugh, just that beachcombing for bodies hadn't really been an aspiration for most.

Lyons has a charming and honest take on the miniature concerns of the addled, self-indulgent middle-class brain. Is it wicked to enjoy a little fois gras on your melba toast? To be irked by the snooty lady at Tiffany’s? Irritated by pescatarianism? A little greedier than you'd like to be? Lyons admits to snobbery, permits herself a little of it, and the audience laughs in grateful self-recognition.

This Mangled Mantra is an hour of easy, refreshing fun, a space to give yourself a break from middle-class guilt and learn a little self-acceptance. Exploring Lyons’s collection of neuroses is a cleansing experience, and there is something benign and uplifting about this set. She is good company, despite lacking empathy with the good fois gras geese of Perigord (surely they don't really nail their little feet to the floor?)

This is recommended as an effective analgesic for 21st-Century angst.

Reviewed by: Chloe Smith

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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