The bold, beautiful and beguiling Elouise Eftos

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By Marianna Alepidis

There is no cutting down this poppy. Elouise Eftos is Australia’s first attractive comedian, which is coincidentally the name of her debut stand up show. 

This dance, voice and acting-trained comedian is putting a thick red line through self-deprecating comedy.

Elouise Eftos
Elouise Eftos.

“The show is about how hard it is to be attractive in comedy and that sounds so silly. That’s sort of what the gag is though; it’s this idea that people, especially in Australia, don’t like people being confident, let alone women being confident,” Eftos told The Greek Herald

“It’s tall poppy syndrome. My comedy is a persona that I play. One of my first opening gigs was for Mary Coustas who plays Effie. She said, ‘you’re almost Effie 2.0, but you’re not wearing a wig and you’re in on the bit.’ I want to challenge the way people see women and women in comedy.”

Eftos is the quintessential ‘Tra la la Girl,’ a term bestowed by her yiayia, but known by many different iterations across Greek culture. 

Elouise Eftos
Elouise with her yiayia.
Elouise Eftos

‘Tra la la girl’ is a term of endearment, depending who you ask. For Eftos, it encompasses the creative, the fun and flirtatious between is she serious or is this a joke? 

“What I love about performing is being able to step into the shoes of someone else. That’s got nothing to do with me being insecure about who I am, because I think that’s what a lot of people interpret my persona as, but it takes a lot to be that confident on stage. I could be like everybody else and do self-deprecating, but I’m doing the literal opposite,” she said.

Elouise Eftos.

“It’s like a challenge. It’s like a social experiment. What’s so fun is when you can make people laugh. It’s amazing to see the reaction from people when they get what you’re doing. I love having a play and being able to be silly and not take things too seriously. Comedy shouldn’t be this serious, it should be fun.”

When the curtain comes down Eftos is still being watched in the public. She is no stranger to criticism for just having fun… cue Cyndi Lauper. Recently pictured with friend and media personality Abbie Chatfield during Melbourne’s Formula 1 season, the women were lambasted in comments for their choice of clothing and social media posts. 

Elouise Eftos

“People like to interpret us being silly and having fun as being these little harlots. It makes me laugh when people just assume we’re stupid, little bimbos and that we don’t know anything about the events we’re attending because of how we look or how we act. Trust me, we’re multifaceted,” she said.

“I talk about how women are policed and these ideas that the patriarchy has put on us in my stand up. We’re also victims of internalised misogyny, but I love the fact that I get to challenge that as this persona, because I wish I was like her all the time. She’s a very heightened version of me. It’s very empowering to play such a strong woman and wear a little dress and be like, ‘I didn’t give a f***, you can’t touch me up here’.”

Elouise Eftos

But who gave her the gall? The gumption?! Well, it’s just in her blood. Eftos credits her “very supportive” immediate family for their foresight and the foundations they laid down for her. 

“Everything that I love is from my mum, my dad, my grandparents… My grandfather would always say, ‘I want to see you in Hollywood.’ I get all my humour and my passion and my expression from my family. That’s from my upbringing, my culture,” she said. 

“It’s really nice to have that boisterous energy; everyone’s always performing in some way when they tell their stories. I don’t think I could ever avoid being a performer because that’s what I was brought up with; constantly singing, dancing.”

Elouise Eftos
Elouise Eftos attended the Australian Premiere of Babylon at the State Theatre in Sydney. Photo: Brendon Thorne.

Eftos circles back to the theme of her show and its feminist tones. What would the world have looked like if the ethnic women she grew up around had taken the leaps she had into entertainment, without fear of prejudice? 

“It made me laugh when yiayia would call me a ‘Tra la la girl,’ which was the name of the trial show that I did in Perth. I was filming her when I was there and I told her ‘you’re a bit of a Tra la la girl.’ She says, ‘yeah!’ Then I asked her, ‘do you think you’d ever do comedy shows?’ Not now, but back in the day she reckons she would have done it as well,” Eftos concluded.

Elouise Eftos

“I feel like there’s so many things the women in our lives would have done, but they were still of that generation. I feel very lucky that my parents are very supportive.” 

You can catch Elouis Eftos’ show Australia’s first attractive comedian at the Melbourne Comedy Festival between 9 – 21 April and at the Sydney Comedy Festival from 15 – 19 May. 



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