Tag Archives: Tez Ilyas

In the Hot Seat: Tez Ilyas

22 Jul

Photograph of Tez IlyasClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

Ooh, I see the Pleasance Courtyard, I see the castle, I see Arthur’s Seat and clouds and flyerers and jugglers on the Royal Mile and the Mosque Kitchen and hordes of confused tourists. I love it.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

My 7 yo nephew telling me jokes. My nieces and nephews give me life man. This was his joke: ‘Why did the beard fall on the hat? Because the baby dropped the beard.’ Loooooool.

Tell us about this year’s show.

My new show, Teztify, is about me ‘teztifying’ against the assumptions that people have about me. From the trivial to the more serious, all with a subtext of up-to-date political discourse obvs.

Who do you want to see this year?

Oh so many people: Dane Baptiste, Kae Kurd, Sophie Willan, Twayna Mayne, Aatif Nawaz, Sara Pascoe, Eshaan Akbar, Joe Sutherland, Aditi Mittal. So many!

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Yup: get up late, have a bagel, see a show, shower and get changed, go to the mosque and pray, do my show, meet friends for dinner, go to one of the bars til too late, grab a Palmyra’s on the way home, go home, sleep. Repeat.

What is your getting ready music?

Public Enemy’s Harder Than You Think is my jam. Gets me right in the mood to take on the world.

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

Alive or dead? Muhammad Ali. Although he’d completely steal the show, but the absolute honour of it!

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

‘You know… you’re really funny for an Asian.’ Gee thanks.

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

My cousins. Growing up in Blackburn meant I was exposed to British Asian Northern humour and it’s so side-splittingly hilarious, it genuinely deserves its own sitcom or sketch show.

What should Donald Trump know?

That the world has changed and we will not go down without a fight. These freedoms ain’t going easy mate.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

Er… Let’s keep it PG yeah? Sleeping in til the afternoon every day and eating out every night. Oh and running through the fields of wheat! Tut tut…

Catch Tez Ilyas: Teztify at 8.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August

Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Comedy Reserve

19 Aug

Words by Susan Fordcomedyreserve

The Comedy Reserve is currently in its 9th year, showcasing 4 great comedians that are topped to be big in the proceeding years.  Previous Reservers include Jack Whitehall, Holly Walsh, Joe Lycett, and Doc Brown, and this year there are some equally excellent fresh new faces for you to enjoy.  Hosting the evening is John Hastings, who made up one quarter of the last Punchline line-up earlier in the year.  He is joined at the Comedy Reserve by Tom Toal, Tez Ilyas and Jack Barry, a finely picked bunch of comedians who put on an outstanding show.

Canadian John Hastings is very quick as a compere, making so many great comedic call backs, not only to his own materiel, but also to the gags that the other acts have laid down in their sets.  On the exterior, John is a gentleman, polite and softly spoken, but on a deeper level he is feisty, and not afraid to go to the dark side of comedy to rouse belly laughter throughout the crowd.

Tez Ilyas deserves his place in the line up greatly so, because he really is a fresh bit of talent on the comedy circuit.  He has a tremendous stage presence, luring the audience in with a seemingly fragile aura, before smashing these initial preconceptions with outrageous punchlines. Tez conjures comedy out of the simplest scenarios, but it his unique way of delivery that draws you in: fingers crossed Tez will be back next year with another successful stand up show,

Tom Toal is one of my favourite comedians; his cheeky smile is teamed up with even cheekier material that is well-written and subsequently hilarious. T-Bone, Double-T, or T-T, tells jokes about his personal life and stories about dating and food that shouldn’t be as funny as Tom can make them. It is this ability that Tom has to see the funny in any situation, surreal or ordinary, that makes him such a good comedian and a superb part of the Comedy Reserve.

Completing the line up is Jack Barry, performing a great set of jokes to finish off the evening. Jack again is a great story teller, placing brilliant punchlines in amongst anecdotes from his life.  Jack has a soft, comforting voice, that lulls the audience in to each joke, before he suitably pulls something a bit more comically absurd out his bag.  Jack Barry’s performance fits in neatly with how the other comedians present their material,  making his set the shiney bow on the top of the wholly wonderful show that is The Comedy Reserve.

Because during the Comedy Reserve, the selected comedians only get 15 minutes to cram in their material, as an audience you get all the best bits of a  great live performance guaranteed. Please be sure to check out this show if you are at the festival this year, because John Hastings, Tez Ilyas, Tom Toal and Jack Barry are all names you will hear a lot more from soon. Tickets still available here, and on a side note, please check out my Punchine interview with Tom Toal.

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