We caught up with Elf Lyons the comedian on her current award-winning comedy horror show Raven, what advice she has for those trying to break into the industry and her coming out story.
So, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into comedy and theatre?
I think Comedy and Theatre always attracted me because they were full of outsiders and eccentrics. And it didn’t matter if you couldn’t spell or tell the time (my two biggest worries aged 9). When I saw comedians on screen, they seemed to be such confident individuals who loved who they were and who didn’t care about being cool. When we were little my parents would enter us into Fancy Dress competitions to help us socialise and I used to love dressing up in drag with my sister, being different people and putting on different voices.
Talk us through your motivation behind Raven?
I have always been a horror lover and also a very big reader. I wanted to combine all the things I loved into one show. RAVEN is cathartic, euphoric chaos, a little bit of hysteria and lots of laughter – and the occasional scream of terror. It’s a melting pot of punk comedy energy. Audiences tend to leave shell-shocked and happy. Which is how I like to make everyone feel after any form of intimate encounter – which live comedy is.
I wanted to combine horror and comedy because they are Siblings. They Are One Of The Few Artistic Genres That Has A Fully Immersive And Kinaesthetic Power Over The Body. They are Cathartic.
For any of our readers that would like to get into your profession, what advice would you give to them?
Enjoy failing and don’t let your pride and ego get in the way of you constantly pushing and improving your work. The comedy you like is not always the comedy you are set out to make too.
What are your coming-out stories? Sorry, but everyone loves a coming-out story...
Mine’s not hugely positive to be honest! I talk about it in my stand-up show ‘TALKS DIRTY FOR AN HOUR’ and make it much funnier, but when I was a teenager, I went to boarding school. When I came out aged 11 I was deemed contagious by the girls I stayed in a dormitory with and was moved into the sick room for a few days until I apologised and said I wasn’t really gay, it was just a joke.
If you could use a magic telephone to call yourself at 15 years old what would you say?
Don’t go to Reading festival. You are going to hate it. Go to the pottery party you were invited to instead.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
We accept the love we think we deserve.
What do you think of the Lesbian Scene in London, where do you go out?
As someone who is Ethically Non-Monogamous I tend to enjoy scenes such as Crossbreed and other alternative social spaces. Working the job I do I rarely get to go out-out- as by the time I’ve finished a gig I am usually absolutely exhausted and want to just curl up in bed and watch Buffy. I tend to host my own parties too as I love a good house-party vibe. Or a brunch.
Who’s your celebrity crush and why?
I mean, she’s dead, but my god if I could time-travel to hang out with LEE MILLER I would absolutely die. Her photography and artwork is amazing. TBH I fancy all the female surrealists.
When can people see Raven and when?
It is at the Soho Theatre from the 27th of October to the 5th of November and you should ALL COME because it is an absolute RIOT!
Thanks for chatting with us!
Follow Elf on her Instagram @elflyons to keep up to date with all her shows. Or check out her website.
Love Team Nonchalant xx
If you enjoyed reading this interview, why not check out our other interviews with queer women?