To quote a song from my favourite film of all time, Mary Poppins, 'I love to laugh'! Live comedy is a real joy and when I saw that Alopecia UK ambassador and comedian Zoe Lyons was bringing her 'Bald Ambition' tour to a town near me, I was excited to be able to see her perform. So on a cold, dark Thursday evening in February, in the company of my colleagues Sue and Naomi, and AUK Trustee Damian, I took a trip to the theatre. 

I have been aware of Zoe's comedy for years and always enjoyed her performances on TV shows like Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You and Live At The Apollo, but never seen her perform live. 

The blurb from Zoe's website reads as follows: 

Zoe Lyons has kept herself busy in the last couple of years by having what can best be described as a monumental midlife crisis. It involved buying a sports car, having a brief marital separation and running a 100k ultra marathon which really didn’t end well. Along the way her hair decided the best thing to do was abandon ship. It ain’t easy being a middle aged woman: try doing it with a combover. Thankfully Zoe has been able to explore the funny side of all these twists and turns. It's time to sell the silly car and try and put the wheels back on her life.

Knowing that the show would include some 'alopecia humour', I must confess to having mixed feelings about what jokes I might hear. Humour is so subjective, isn't it? I, for one, have never understood what anyone found funny about 'Mrs Brown's Boys' but it remained an incredibly successful show. What tickles one person's funny bone can fall completely flat with another. The same joke can be found hilarious by some, and offensive by others. So I wondered what jokes Zoe would make about alopecia, how they would make me feel and, most importantly, would they make me laugh...

Firstly, I will give no spoilers to Zoe's show but I was laughing from start to finish. Her comedy routine centres on all the challenges Zoe has faced in the past couple of years navigating a midlife crisis and global pandemic (as per her website blurb above). When she talked about her experiences with alopecia, there was so much that Sue, Naomi, Damian and I could relate to. I could see we were all nodding along knowingly as Zoe made jokes about the 'helpful' suggestions people made to encourage her hair to return. We were all in fits of laughter at one joke or another (I thought a skit about headlice was very funny). 

I was also pleased to bump into another woman with alopecia, Jane, who I had met at my Leeds Support Group years ago, on the way out of the gig. I asked her if she'd enjoyed it and she replied that she did, which I was very pleased to hear. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Zoe's show. I particularly found it incredibly refreshing to hear jokes made about alopecia in a way where alopecia was not the punchline. Yes, there were a couple of jokes that Zoe made about herself, and her hair (or lack there of), but I've heard people make jokes about themselves and their hair loss before - for many humour can be a good coping mechanism. But what I really enjoyed were the jokes that picked fun at those who say the most ridiculous things to us, or the daft things we find ourselves doing and thinking as a result of our hair loss. To me, that felt therapeutic. Bald Ambition gets 5 stars from me. 

We were delighted to meet with Zoe briefly after the show, to congratulate her, compare hairdos and take a quick photo! 

Thank you Zoe for an amazing show! If you think that this sounds like your cuppa tea, Bald Ambition is touring now. You can find more about dates and tickets here.  

You can also read Alopecia UK's interview with Zoe here