BY KATHRYN PIERCE
In collaboration with @SomewhereEDI
Sitting in a sold-out show in the Gilded Balloon Teviot Dining Room with a few hundred others, there was a real buzz in the audience; and looking around it was clear to see that over the years, Zoe Lyons has developed a very wide appeal indeed, which is no mean feat for a “tattooed, middle-aged lesbian” – her words.
Zoe’s Entry Level Human show is a very clever piece of observational and relatable comedy, centering on the complexities and absurdities of modern life responsible for what she believes to be our perpetual state of self-induced disappointment. Covering a broad sweep of subjects such as the social media echo chamber, our obsession with being hyperconnected, the consumption-driven and narcissistic world, plus the fact we live with higher and higher expectations of ourselves and others, it’s no wonder our actual lived reality can be a major facepalm. Thank goodness Zoe and motivational memes are there to reassure and ground us.
I really enjoyed her wry appreciation and celebration of the fact that we can all just be a bit rubbish; how human error can mess with a perfectly-designed algorithmic world where tastes are satisfied at the scroll of a smartphone screen. I was impressed she decided to tackle the “B” word, as we call Brexit in our house, declaring that now “everything is shit or brilliant”, depending on your perspective, and she reckons we’re actually hard-wired to become more Brexity the older we get, which certainly would explain a few things.
This jam-packed show was sixty fun-filled minutes spent with comedy characters, travel and holiday stories, petty annoyances, random events and even a drunken Glaswegian fly, which all added up to a therapeutic hour of raucous relief from the pressures of 21st century life.
Zoe pitched her Entry Level Human show as a way to a happier world, through more realistic expectations. That said, we all had high expectations of her and she certainly didn’t disappoint.