In the lead up to our big Standard Issue Stands Up For Comic Relief gig on Monday 11 May at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, we’re asking each of our line-up a few questions. Today, it’s utterly joyous standup Zoe Lyons.
We’ve been merrily banging on about our brilliant forthcoming gig for Comic Relief (Monday 11 May, The Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, ON SALE NOW).
And yes we’re biased, but it is one hell of a bill: Sarah Millican, Jo Brand, Katherine Ryan, Susan Calman, Jessica Fostekew, Jo Caulfield, Sara Pascoe and Holly Walsh. And – we’re pleased to announce – the absolutely excellent Zoe Lyons.
Affable and arch, snarky and cute, Zoe Lyons is akin to a perfect pickle: a spot-on mix of sweet and sour. A familiar and much-loved face on the comedy circuit, Lyons’ assured, often self-deprecating humour is a joy to behold.
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
Any time anyone laughs is the best thing to happen to me on stage. I don’t mean that to sound glib – it still genuinely gives me a massive buzz.
Where do you get your inspiration for material?
I have no idea; things just plop into my mind, usually while I am walking the dog or taking a shower. It usually means when I am trying to write a new show, I am well exercised and sparkling clean.
When did you realise you were a feminist?
When I started to do standup and I was made aware that being a female comic would be remarked upon…again…and again…and again.
Which women have inspired you and how?
The late Joan Rivers had such an incredible energy and spirit. She had to deal with so much on the rocky road of showbiz. I wish I had one ounce of her resilience and determination. I worship Grace Jones, her ‘couldn’t give a shit’ attitude is very inspiring.
Marco Polo: I love to travel but that dude set off from Europe to Asia in a time when very little was known about far-off lands. What an adventure he must have had; what a story, and not one bloody selfie along the way.
What were you like as a kid?
What brings you joy?
So many things, I have learnt to take delight in tiny things. I love being outside; I could look at trees all day. Skiing and scuba diving are my two hobbies because of the connection with nature. Also finding a pair of jeans that fit first time brings utter joy.
Please could you share the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given.
Smile – it takes years off you.
What’s always on your ‘to do’ list that never gets done?
Repaint the skirting boards in the hall.
Most people are well aware of the vital work Comic Relief does at home and overseas, but might not be as aware of the work it does with women. All the money raised by Standard Issue Stands Up for Comic Relief will be used to help vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls here in the UK and across Africa.
From tackling violence against women, raising awareness and educating communities about the harm caused by female genital mutilation to ensuring that the number of women dying in childbirth across sub-Saharan Africa continues to fall, the cash raised will help to make a big difference to women and girls living incredibly tough lives.
Standard Issue Stands Up for Comic Relief is on Monday 11 May at The Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, 7:30pm.
Visit nimaxtheatres.com/lyric-theatre/standard_issue_stands_up_for_comic_relief for more information.
All profits from this event will be donated to Comic Relief.