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Zoe Lyons: Miss Machismo - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Chloe Smith

Though not a show that hangs rigidly on to its theme, Miss Machismo consists of such densely packed and consistently funny material that only the most stolid will leave it without a Slight Ache in the cheeks.

Zoe Lyons instantly engages the audience, inviting us to admire her swagger and very practical flat shoes. The attempts of the drunk in the first row to command her attention are met with perfectly pitched polite authority. Within moments all are assured that they are in competent hands.

It’s a happy show. Not relentlessly upbeat or obnoxiously positive, but cheery. The subject matter is eclectic, ranging from praise for the Pope’s stylist, through S&M comedy nights via celebrity perfumes and camping sporks. Lyons takes us on a guided meditation on the horrors of staying in cheap hotels, nose pressed to the mini bar in sorrowful contemplation of over-priced Pringles.

She is fearless in her dismissal of useless things like organic cat food and Nigella Lawson’s advice on roasting turkey. She even seeks to dispel the mystery of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s supply of unction. And every now and then there is an unapologetic mention of despair and its manifold manifestations.

While the machismo thing sometimes gets lost, there is no deviation that does not offer its reward in laughs. Lyons treats all to the same gleeful analysis, reducing swagger to a more appropriate gait. The whole thing is beautifully paced and very, very funny.

Review date: 14 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Chloe Smith

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