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Cracking jokes, changing the world: Lizzie Allan and Lovolution at the Heritage Playhouse

'It’s comedy from a place of wellness': ‘Save the World With Lizzie Allan’ has its world premiere at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse
Lovolution Movement leaders and guest artists (left to right) Rachel Hayek, Lizzie Allan, Venetia Nielsen and Deanna Knight.

A comedy performance on Sept. 15 transformed personal trauma into mirthful tonic, launching a grassroots group with plans to change the world through compassionate positivity.

Lizzie Allan is a professional therapist who in 2012 created a teaching technique called Hilarapy that uses laughter to promote emotional and mental well-being. Allan is originally from the United Kingdom and has lived in South Surrey for the last eight years. She was invited by members of the locally-founded Lovolution Movement to headline the show at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse.

The interactive production included a meditation-like visualization exercise. It was the world premiere of “Save the World With Lizzie Allan,” a blend of experiential learning and euphoric giddiness that Allan plans to tour across the U.S. over the next year.

Allan delivered her autobiographical comedy set after proposing a theory that empathy flows from radical vulnerability and light-hearted introspection. Her material, richly visceral and ironic, elicited an unbroken chorus of guffaws.

“It’s comedy from a place of wellness,” said Allan, “and the ability to move between something hilarious and something real and authentic, empowering people to shine their lights and own their stories without the need for sympathy or approval.”

According to Lovolution co-founders Venetia Nielsen and Rachel Hayek, Allan’s performance was also intended to herald public awareness about their Sunshine Coast-based movement. It was 18 months ago that Nielsen and Hayek sketched out plans to promote a hopeful vision of a more harmonious, healthy planet.

“Honestly, I haven’t wanted to paint Lovolution into a corner or a box,” said Nielsen, who, like Hayek, has a professional background in personal coaching. “I want to invite other people to join the movement. I believe the divine feminine energy is going to help lift up humanity and inspire incredible peaceful warriors to join.”

Nielsen finds inspiration among the small groups of women who initiated historic movements dedicated to human rights and global peace. Although Lovolution’s core team is presently composed entirely of women, organizers emphasize that involvement is open to all genders. Inspiring collaboration and promoting ecological restoration are part of the group’s wide-ranging vision.

“If we can take care of ourselves in a really beautiful way,” added Hayek, “then we will just naturally start to do that for other living beings around us, and we’ll connect with the planet more because we’re part of it.”

Funds raised from the event will assist local singer-songwriter Deanna Knight, also a member of Lovolution, in the production of her forthcoming album of original music. Between appearances by Allan, Knight sang two numbers whose delivery ranged from cinematic rhapsody to intimate lyricism.

“Lizzie played in my garden last summer and Venetia wanted to do a fundraiser for the record,” said Knight. She plans to issue new singles one-by-one in early 2024 before a full release on Earth Day. 

“This is my sophomore record,” added Knight. “It’s been 22 years since my first album, and there’s been lots of learning, lots of growing, lots of parenting, and being ready. It’s divine timing, because you’re not always ready to be that vulnerable.”

More information about the Sunshine Coast-headquartered Lovolution Movement is available by browsing to