Elf Lyons is a nuanced performer whose show ‘Love Songs to Guinea Pigs’ is coming to Brighton Komedia on the 9th of October 2019. I had the pleasure of meeting Elf at a little coffee shop the other day in London and the conversation that unfurled was one of the most purely enjoyable and calm I’ve experienced.
Her approach to comedy is a marrying of the left and right side of the brain, such as shown with her previous show ‘Chiffchaff’ where Elf talked about economics yet in a humorous fashion. The ‘beauty in algebra’ is something she has been aware of since a young age due to her father being an economist and her passion for communicating accurate knowledge to her audience is clear from the sheer preparation of her work. An example of this is in relation to her previous show ‘Swan’, where Elf learnt so much about ballet that she felt like a ‘mini genius’ in the subject.
As a fresher myself, I related to Elf when she spoke about how during her BA at Bristol University she was unaware of what she wanted to pursue as a career. After her Masters in London and then success in Australia she took the jump to study at Gaulier, near Paris. It is here Elf says she ‘found her people’. Only being able to complete one and a half years of the two-year course due to work, she says she does occasionally think about returning and would love to learn from other masters of the trade as well. It is here I must make a public service announcement (PSA), to anyone looking to study clown please do so from an experienced professional. That is Elf’s advice that I promised to pass on to any aspiring performers.
The other PSA I have to make is ‘don’t shop, adopt’. Having never really thought about it in too much depth, Elf made me aware of the importance of pets. Due to the fact that many young people now struggle to get on the property ladder, there has been a decrease of people having pets given the lack of landlords accepting animals and also the lack of a permanent and fixed address. It is from having a pet and that animal being solely dependent on you Elf says is how we can process and become aware of our feelings towards ‘how to care, how to love and our relationship with commitment’. Her new show ‘Love Songs to Guinea Pigs’ was inspired by the two additions to her life, Ian and Clara. These two guinea pigs have been a learning journey and obviously extremely inspirational to her work. When asked about her work Elf’s response was ‘I love creating’. This passion for her work was evident throughout the interview and only excited me more to see her show for myself soon.
Her entire persona throughout the interview was of sheer whimsical peacefulness, yet delivered with a cheeky smile. From taking an interest in my university course to recommending books to read, I felt as though I was having a regular chat with a good friend rather than an amazing award-winning comedian. Incredibly humble, Elf was so open and human during our talk that I am now more than ever excited to see how she performs live! An unapologetically funny and warm individual, I urge all of you see this comedian on stage on the 9thof October at Komedia. I have faith that you won’t regret it.