IN AN EARLY Glasgow International Comedy Festival preview of what looks set to be a fine Edinburgh Fringe hour, an assured Zoe Lyons really cuts the mustard on all aspects of snobbery.
Zoe Lyons: Mustard Cutter - The Stand, Glasgow
As a theme, it’s a useful, catch-all term for things that she detests – not least the dinner party pretensions of others – and it allows her to include some self-deprecating episodes in which she’s the victim, as well as a light dusting of her enthusiasms.
Rarely does the snobbery angle feel contrived or stretched though, thanks to her smooth segues. And if her default position is gleeful cynicism, well, it certainly chimed with the mood in this room. Moreover, it makes her sporadic delights, in a tramp’s congratulations on her parallel parking or kinkily recreating wildlife documentaries in onesies with her girlfriend, all the more memorable.
This week’s introduction of gay marriage south of the Border prompted a wittily barbed and snarky portrait of a middle-aged woman’s heterosexual union disintegrating under the assault of someone else’s happiness.
But her most compelling routine, a cocktail of emotions, involves the funeral of a friend and the multiple, secret identities that belatedly emerge.
There’s no great epilogue to Lyons’ musings, notwithstanding a very funny shopping trip she took to Tiffany’s in London, where she can only admire the instinctive snobbery of the assistant serving her. But that’s in keeping with a show that generally celebrates such arrogance and haughtiness, misplaced as it may be.
And for an hour of consistently strong social commentary, anecdotal and observational routines, look no further.