Elf Lyons: Pelican

Entering with a typically dramatic flourish (dressed like a sexy dressage horse for some reason) Elf Lyons wastes no time in telling us that she wants to kill her mother. Not really, of course, but it’s as good a place to start a show about family as any. Lyons guides us through her memories of having an eccentric, artsy mother in Lyon’s own giddy style, although the show really shines in the moments where she wanders off track. These moments include a spot-on (I imagine) impersonation of an MRI machine, and a brilliant discussion about what she’d do with yoghurt if she wasn’t a lady.

There’s a lot to digest in this solid Fringe hour; it flips from surreal fantasy to poignant real-life hardship. Lyons graduated from L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier, but there’s little clowning or pretension to deal with. Where there is a spot of pretension, Lyons points it out and mocks it. Although some gags and references fall flat at times, Lyons is engaging throughout. It’s a funnier hour than her previous outing, Being Barbarella, although thankfully the nerdy film references remain.

★★★★

Stuart Addison

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