In this genre-crossing style of standup comedy, Elf Lyons attempts to cross between humour and horror, the humour coming from her own life experiences, the horror coming from the inspiration she has taken from Stephen King. Raven is unlike any show you may have seen before, it has humour, dramatic storytelling and truly bizarre moments in which you are unsure whether the motivation behind them was comedic or creepy.
The show mainly focuses on Elf Lyons’ life, which is told to the audience through a series of chapters, much like a great Stephen King novel. She speaks about her home life, boarding school, the struggles she went through as a child and how they have shaped her in adulthood. She was told by one of her exes that she should see a therapist, but perhaps performing a show at the Fringe will do instead.
Raven is a humorous show that has been written, performed and produced to a very high level. However, there are points in the show which feel too intense. The feeling that Elf Lyons has to vent about her troubles feels as though it sometimes takes precedence over the entertainment factor in the show. Even though the show is funny, and does what it promises from a horror point of view, a lot of it feels as though the humour comes from shock and an uncertainty of what is going on, compared to it being funny due to the strength of the material. But this is Elf Lyons’ story to tell, the intensity could be at an ideal level for her, but maybe that is not the case for the audience.
In spite of that, the show blends the genres of horror and comedy perfectly, with a great deal of grandeur, maybe the themes of the show would be good enough for Stephen King himself.
Elf Lyons: Raven, 20.30, Gilded Balloon