Arts & culture

Fringe comedy review: Elf Lyons – Pelican ****

Elf Lyons – Pelican ****Elf Lyons 2

How many ways can you put across that you love your mother – but also at times find her infuriating? In numerous, joyfully melodramatic and thoroughly entertaining ways if you’re Elf Lyons. The 25-year-old comedian brings one of life’s most complicated relationships to giddy life through long-suffering anecdotes involving emotional meltdowns in the bath, red-faced embarrassment abroad and motherly over-protectiveness on a level that’s never been seen before.

The show commences with Lyons bounding into the room all fringing and model tallness, wearing an outfit that is frankly impossible to fathom. There’s something resembling Shakespearian pantaloons there – maybe also rodeo lassoing pants? It’s loveably bizarre, and it all helps with the comedic theatre of the show.

Lyons is no stranger to out-of the-ordinary outfits her mother once dressed her up as one of the twins from The Shining. A sea-themed analogy explaining the depth of her mother’s love – and penchant for having the police on speed dial – reaches fever pitch in one of the highlights of the hour-long Voodoo Rooms show. Lyons’ style is animated and full of those unexpected tangents and pay-offs that make for quality comedy. She holds the audience’s attention with ease.

‘Pelican’ also broaches more serious topics with comic aplomb – mental health, sexuality, and those societal irks that women have to put up with, like the pressure to beat the ticking clock and get pregnant. It’s good material – and the preggers thing is so bloody true. In the end, this may be a show about Lyons sometimes wanting to kill her mother, but it’s really about her telling her much she loves her, in all her intense, oceanic glory.