I’m gonna put it out there - in spite of the attention-grabbing title, I don’t think Elf Lyons is a pervert. And I don’t think her set was perverted either. In fact, if there were any perverts in the audience last night, I imagine they would have been disappointed by the show’s relatively vanilla content.
Lyons was vibrant, energetic and full of clumsy spirit.
Lyons was very open about this discrepancy. She said she wasn’t a shock comedian, and admitted - 20 or so minutes in - that her show would not be as raunchy as we might have expected. So why the title? Well, there was some train-themed erotica at the end of the show along with some tales of Lyons’ knickerless youth, but it still felt like a cynical appeal to our carnal curiosities, a way to stand out in the crowded listings of the Fringe catalogue.
That said, throughout her performance, Lyons was vibrant, energetic and full of clumsy spirit. Her drama school background came through strongly in her exaggerated, thespian manner, but occasionally overpowered the material itself, which was lost to her efforts at presence and projection.
That was not consistently the case, however, and sometimes Lyons charmed as a natural, quirky performer with a penchant for anecdotes and, as we learned, Game of Thrones. Although her geek-chic eccentricity can feel a little contrived, you also get the impression that there is plenty of intelligence to back it up.
In a flourish of self-deprecation, Lyons seemed eager to portray herself as the token weirdo. We heard stories of her wearing bin bags to school discos and dancing awkwardly in nightclubs, forever the foil to normality. Therein lies, I think, the key to her ‘perversion’, and when Lyons tours with new material, I suspect she will carry that aspect of this show along with her.